Preparation, feeding and other relief efforts underway in 15 states
As Hurricane Irene made landfall on the North Carolina coast earlier this week, The Salvation Army was providing food, supplies and spiritual and emotional care to evacuees across the region. Thousands across eastern North Carolina were being fed and cared for at shelters by Salvation Army feeding teams. The Salvation Army also has mobile feeding units prepared to aid survivors of the storm throughout the northeast following this morning’s landfall.
“Though the North Carolina coast weathered the storm fairly well, we want to emphasize the seriousness of the storm and our cooperation with local officials and agencies,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the U.S. “With more than 2.5 million people under evacuation orders The Salvation Army remains committed 24/7 to providing those impacted with the basic services they need to get through this difficult period.”
The Salvation Army has already served some 15,000 meals to first responders and evacuees in New Jersey and nearly 11,000 meals, food and drinks in Greenville, Washington, Elizabeth City and Morehead City in the Carolinas. In Norfolk County, VA, The Salvation Army has served nearly 2,000 meals and snacks and provided lodging to 250 people. Similar activities are taking place up and down the East Coast. In total, The Salvation Army has 370 canteens and five mobile feeding kitchens along the eastern seaboard. Collectively, these units can provide several hundred thousand meals per day when operating at full capacity. Also, The Salvation Army is standing up a broad range of services, in coordination with local, state and federal governments, including supporting shelter operations and evacuations.
Salvation Army locations in the Caribbean and Bahamas are focused on response and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irene. In addition to helping evacuees cope with the stress and damage of the storm, response units in the U.S. Virgin Isles and Puerto Rico are providing those affected with gift cards to buy food, clothes and other supplies. In addition, representatives of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service Team have are continuing to work with the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to survey and assess the damage on the islands of Acklins and Mayaguana.
On Thursday, Commissioner William Roberts, the National Commander of The Salvation Army, declared Hurricane Irene a national disaster, which puts all units on alert status throughout the United States. This placed all divisions of The Salvation Army ready to assist by preparing staff, equipment and supplies to respond to the storm. The Salvation Army is urging all residents in the path of Irene to heed the advice of public officials and prepare with an emergency disaster plan.
The most critical need right now is for monetary donations, which can be made online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by texting the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone.*
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Irene, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusa or www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.