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Hurricane Relief Image

Hurricane Relief

Every year, hurricanes across the United States cause widespread damage and turn lives upside down.

How The Salvation Army Helps Those Affected by Hurricanes

The Salvation Army began offering assistance to disaster survivors after a major hurricane hit Galveston, TX, in September 1900, destroying the coastal city and becoming the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.  

The Army has consistently responded to hurricanes over the years, providing essential resources to those impacted by these destructive storms. Each hurricane season brings a heightened state of readiness and response as we gather our resources to ensure readiness at any given time. 

If you have been impacted or displaced by a hurricane, contact your local Salvation Army to find a Salvation Army shelter near you and receive emergency assistance

Proactive Emergency Relief

Our hurricane relief efforts begin well before the storm makes landfall. Even before there are disaster declarations, we are planning and mobilizing relief teams from around the region and around the country so that we can have the additional boots on the ground needed in the communities as soon as disaster strikes. There, we work with local organizations and federal authorities to bring people the vital resources and comfort they so desperately need. These services include:

  • Emergency food and provisions Shelter and refuge
  • Emotional and spiritual support for survivors and first responders alike
  • Bottled water Clean blankets
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Mobile showers

In the past several decades, we have been there before, during, and after all major disasters hit the United States, including Hurricanes Katrina, Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Sandy.

Harvey alone brought $125 billion in devastation to the Texas Gulf Coast region, and we executed one of the largest disaster-relief operations in our history. The Salvation Army deployed 96 mobile meal units; served more than 2.8 million meals, drinks, and snacks; and provided more than 400,000 hours of staff and volunteer service.

The 2005 hurricane season became The Salvation Army's largest hurricane relief effort to date, with generous donations adding up to $382 million to support recovery efforts for survivors and communities of all the year's storms, including Hurricane Katrina. Immediate response efforts that year included:

  • 178 mobile meal units and 11 field kitchens brought in from across the country
  • More than 5.6 million hot meals and 8.2 million sandwiches, snacks, and drinks served
  • 178,313 cleaning kits and 235,229 food and grocery boxes distributed
  • 282,000 emergency disaster assistance cases registered
  • Emotional and spiritual care provided for more than 275,000 individuals
  • Direct financial aid delivered, in the form of gift cards and housing/utility assistance
  • Provision of equipment and transportation for trained Salvation Army disaster personnel
  • Assistance to more than 2.6 million survivors in the affected region
Commitment Long After

Once we transition from immediate disaster recovery to long-term relief, we focus on disaster case management, reconstruction, and support for volunteer rebuild teams. Financial assistance programs also help with home repair, job training, and other initiatives to aid long-term recovery in communities. In addition, we partner with other agencies, like Habitat for Humanity, in the construction and rehabilitation of hundreds of homes.

Even after a hurricane strikes and the response efforts subside, The Salvation Army continues to be a presence in the community. Our grassroots services nationwide offer vital resources for our friends and neighbors who are suffering. These include homeless shelters, food pantries, alcoholism and drug rehabilitation centers, job and unemployment services, and the tools and resources to break the cycle of poverty.

How To Help 

Our hurricane relief efforts and rebuilding projects are made possible thanks to generous donations from people across the United States willing to make a difference.

Donating Money

By donating to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief services, you make it possible for us to provide necessary relief supplies such as food and hygiene items. Donations also help our emergency shelters stay open in the wake of a disaster and provide the groundwork for our long-term recovery efforts and rebuilding projects.   

Donate Now

Donating Goods

After a hurricane has damaged a community, basic need items are an essential donation to keep people fed, clean, and safe. The following donations may directly help both hurricane survivors and first responders and rebuilding crews: 

  • Bandanas, work gloves, and other protective clothing items
  • Bottled water and other packaged drinks
  • Boxes, barrels, and heavy-duty plastic bags (for survivors to collect their possessions)
  • Cleaning items such as rags, mops, brooms, and scrub brushes
  • Device chargers First aid kits
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Gently used or new work boots or rain boots
  • Hygiene items including soap, detergent, disinfectant, garbage bags, and hand sanitizer
  • Infant care items such as formula, diapers, and rash cream
  • Linens such as bedding and pillows
  • New undergarments such as underwear or socks
  • Nonperishable, packaged food items and snacks
  • PPE, including dust masks
  • Protective equipment such as work gloves, boots, helmets, and masks
  • Rebuilding supplies, including plastic tarps, nails, plywood, and hand tools
  • Safety equipment, including dust masks and first aid kits
  • Snacks Supplies for cleaning and rebuilding projects, including helmets, gloves, and tools
  • Toys and books to entertain children
  • Utility tools such as plastic buckets, shovels, and rakes

Please contact your local Salvation Army incident management team before collecting or trying donate these items. The local emergency disaster services team will need to establish reception and distribution plans before these items can be collected or distributed to people in need, and a surprise in-kind donation, though well-meaning, can become an increased challenge for disaster teams and personnel.

Donating Time

 Becoming a volunteer is an important way to give back to communities affected by a disaster, and it is also imperative to our mission of caring for others. We rely on volunteers to help with an array of efforts, including distributing food and water, helping transport goods to our centers, or even just providing a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on for hurricane survivors. 

If you’d like to help hurricane survivors and our recovery efforts, contact your local Salvation Army today


Press Resources
Experts for Interview

If you are a member of the media and would like to speak with one of our experts, please contact:

The Salvation Army