National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month


National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. As the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina passes, we are reminded how disaster can strike in our own backyards. There are many ways we can prepare ourselves and our families for disaster.

Some disasters Texans may experience and should prepare for are power outages, floods, wildfires and hurricanes. Losing your power in the middle of the Texas heat can be a dangerous thing and we recently experienced the tragedy of massive flooding this past May. There are many ways you and your family can prepare for the next disaster.


Every family can prepare a Basic Disaster Supplies Kit which includes:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
  • Food, at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

For any disaster, the best thing to do is follow the story on your local news station and stay informed. Some disasters give us an advanced warning with time to prepare. Have an evacuation plan ready. If you have pets, have your pet carrier ready to go in a location that is easy to get to in case you have to escape danger quickly. Have your important documents and valuables in one safe location that you can quickly get to.

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita

Flood Preparedness

With the 2015 Texas Floods fresh in our memories, it is a good idea to get flood prepared now. Just a few things you can do are: purchase flood insurance, elevate critical utilities, flood proof basement, clear debris from gutters and downspouts and move valuables and documents to a safe place.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is June 1st to November 30th. Because hurricanes can be tracked, the first thing to do is stay alert and follow the hurricane’s path on your local news station. Have an evacuation plan ready. Think of where you can travel and who you may be able to stay with until the hurricane is over. Protect your home by having boards ready in your garage with the tools needed to board up your windows. Plan with your neighbors in advance if you think you may need help boarding up. Purchasing hurricane proof shutters will save you time in the event of a hurricane. Gather enough canned goods, batteries and water for a few days.

Wildfire Ready

Unlike floods and hurricanes, there are no advanced warnings for wildfires. Although wildfires can occur anytime within the year, the potential is high during periods of little or no rain and can occur anywhere from remote wilderness to your own backyard. Some of us may remember the 2011 Texas wildfires that occurred in Bastrop and other parts of our community which were devastating to our community.

Because fires are unpredictable, a great thing to do is make sure you have homeowners or renter’s insurance to cover your property and belongings. Reduce the amount of material that burns easily around your home. Use fire-resistant materials for landscaping and construction around your home.


Remember your life if the most important thing. Your things can be replaced but you cannot. Have a family meeting and talk with your family about what to do in case of disaster.

Bastrop Wildfires

Bastrop Wildfires

For more information and ways to prepare for floods, hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, earthquakes and winter storms, please visit:

For additional emergency supplies list visit:




Hurricane Katrina

Remembering Katrina – 10 Years After


Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane season in 2005 was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history. The most devastating of all storms to hit the Gulf Coast that year was Hurricane Katrina. Katrina strengthened to a category five hurricane and weakened to a category three as it made landfall in southwest Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina wiped out and destroyed so much in a matter of hours:

  • 1,836 lives lost
  • $81 billion in property damage
  • 80% of New Orleans was catastrophically flooded

The Salvation Army emergency disaster workers and volunteers were on hand to deliver relief in the form of shelter, food and hydration, and emotional and spiritual care. $382M was generously given and entrusted to The Salvation Army to provide immediate and long-term support for survivors of the hurricanes. A total of $157 million was spent on immediate response efforts that included:

  • 178 canteen feeding 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
  • 178,313 cleaning kits and 235,229 food boxes (groceries)
  • 282,000 emergency disaster assistance cases registered
  • Emotional and spiritual care for more than 275,000 individuals
  • Direct financial aid, in the form of gift cards and housing/utility assistance
  • Equipment and transportation for Salvation Army disaster personnel
  • Assistance to more than 2.6 million survivors in the affected region
Hurricane Katrina survivors line up at The Salvation Army food canteens for meals.

Hurricane Katrina survivors line up at The Salvation Army food canteens for meals.

In Austin, Texas, under the Katrina Aid Today program, The Salvation Army Austin was able to provide long-term case management and emergency assistance in a number of ways:

  • Provided long-term case management to 262 families
  • Helped people maintain their housing or obtain housing by paying for deposits and rent
  • Provided referrals for counseling, therapy and spiritual care
  • Met weekly to collaborate with other local providers to ensure that needs were being met and services were not being duplicated
  • Helped families enroll their children in school
  • Worked closely with the school districts to get their children up to grade level through education and tutoring
  • Worked with the Red Cross and other disaster aid networks to help families find their loved ones
  • Provided vouchers for furniture from local Salvation Army Family Stores
  • Helped evacuees access job retraining to prepare them for tech jobs and other jobs relevant to the Austin economy
  • Helped families access housing and childcare and find employment


New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast were completely flooded and in ruin which forced many families to relocate to other cities and even other states. 25,000 survivors from the New Orleans Superdome were transferred to the Astrodome in Houston. The Salvation Army staff united with hundreds of pastors, church members and volunteers to help. Six to eight mobile feeding canteens were brought in from around the United States.

“What started as a possibility, became a probability, and concluded as a horrid reality. Buildings were obliterated, bridges broken, levees split asunder. It was in so many ways, ‘the worst of times.’ And yet The Salvation Army responded with promptness, competence, determination, daring and Christian love. The results were amazing. People were encourages, homes built, communities kept together, lives literally saved. Hurricane Katrina did indeed represent ‘the worst of times,’ yet in terms of serving hurting people in their time of greatest need and in the name of Jesus Christ, Katrina and its aftermath was also ‘the best of times.’ Never have I been prouder to be a Salvationist!”

-Major John Jordan, former Community Relations & Development Secretary

 Did we help you? Tell us your story.




Ice Cold Water

Texas Heat

Ice Cold Water

Austinites are used to the heat, but the last few weeks were especially hot with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees. With a surplus of bottled water, thanks to I Am Water’s generous donation, we were able to go out to provide cold clean water to those that may not have access.

On Wednesday, Salvation Army staff and volunteers stood outside the front of the downtown shelter offering cold bottled water to clients leaving the shelter on their way to work, to those coming into the shelter seeking assistance, and to others on the street enduring the heat.

Being outside in the Texas heat for only one hour can be draining and exhausting and for those who are experiencing homelessness, this unfortunately is something they bear every day. Offering cold water outside the shelter gave volunteers and staff the opportunity to lend an ear and listen to the people’s stories and struggles. It gave us a chance to bring in families of volunteers and watch them share the act of kindness and giving to strangers. Offering bottled water for one afternoon may not seem like a big deal, but on this hot scorching day, there was a sense of community and sharing.

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Laura-Spradlin-construction worker

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We would like to thank our volunteers who came out to help distribute water. We would also like to thank I Am Waters again for their support.

Jennifer-Oconner-Jamie-McKenney    Ben-Brummett-client  Volunteer with client

socks image

Sock Drive


socks image

The Salvation Army Austin has partnered with Round Rock Express and Chick-Fil-A to hold sock drives around Travis and Williamson counties benefiting local children through the 2015 Shoe-In.

The Salvation Army works with partners in the community to identify elementary school age children who are the most in need -those who live in poverty or are experiencing homelessness- so that we can provide them with shoes for the new school year.

This year we are raising funds and working with Academy to provide shoes to local children in need. But we can’t stop there. What would make a new pair of shoes even better? Socks! We are working with local businesses to acquire new pairs of socks. Our goal is to give two new pairs of socks to every child.

A new pair of socks and shoes is so much more that what we think it is because children who are experiencing poverty may not have everything they need to get through the school year. A new pair of socks and shoes can restore hope, elevate confidence and provide comfort. Having a good pair of shoes also helps with health and overall well-being. Shoes not only support our feet, but can affect our back and spine. Having good shoes and new socks is so important during a child’s growing years.

How can you help?

Donate here to help provide a pair of shoes to a local child in need. Or stop by any one of the following locations and donate a new pair of socks:

August 11-14th – Dell Diamond: 3400 East Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, Texas 78665. Donate two pairs of new socks and receive 2

tickets to an upcoming Round Rock Express game.

 August 17-22nd – Chick-Fil-A: 12501 N. MoPac Expy. Donate a new pair of socks and receive one free Icedream.

 September 24thChick-Fil-A: Georgetown, TX. Donate a pair of new socks and receive a free Chick-Fil-A Sandwich.

 We would like to thank Round Rock Express, Chick-fil-a and EZCORP for holding sock drives benefiting children in need in our communities through the 2015 Shoe-In.

I Am Waters

I Am Waters

Elena Davis, President and Founder and Angela Henderson, Chief of Staff

Angela Henderson, Chief of Staff (left) and Elena Davis, President and Founder (right)



Texas summers are hot! Unfortunately not everyone is fortunate enough to have the basic necessity to survive the heat: water. Elena Davis, President and Founder of I Am Waters, saw a need of clean water for those that are experiencing homelessness and decided to do something about it. In 2009, Elena Davis started the I Am Waters Foundation.

The I Am Waters Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas dedicated to providing fresh, clean water to the homeless.”

Last week, The Salvation Army was blessed with a large donation of bottled water from the I Am Waters Foundation for those in our emergency shelters this summer. I Am Waters donated 22 pallets (38,016) bottles of water. They will donate water again to The Salvation Army Emergency Shelters in August.

These water bottles will help keep the children in our shelters hydrated while at summer camp and while playing at our shelters, and will also keep the women in our shelters hydrated on their way back and forth from school or work.

I Am Waters carry inspirational messages on each of their bottles knowing that the person drinking from the bottle may need a little inspiration.

iamwaters_love_bottle_water iamwaters_bottle_water_hope-200x428 iamwaters_dream_bottle_water


 “I am so impressed and inspired by the many great organizations that help the homeless with housing, job skills and food. I Am Waters compliments these groups with our straight-forward mission to provide clean water to the homeless on the streets… I Am Waters provides our inspirational water bottles to homeless organizations for free to distribute to their clients in ways they deem best.”

We are thankful to I Am Waters for providing not only hydration to those living in our emergency shelters, but also love, compassion and hope as well.

Purchasing a bottle of water from I Am Waters at your local Whole Foods, supports the I Am Waters Foundation.

(photos of bottles above from I Am Water website)


Water delivery to The Salvation Army

Water delivery to The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Austin - Recovery Story

Shop and Help Save a Life

The Salvation Army Austin - Success Story of Clayton

Clayton, Jessica and Michael W. Smith – Doing The Most Good Luncheon 2015

You have probably seen a Salvation Army Family Store in your area or have maybe even shopped at one; but did you know the good you are doing when you shop with us?

Sales from The Salvation Army Family Stores support our Adult Rehabilitation Center. The Rehabilitation Center provides spiritual, social and emotional assistance for men who have lost the ability to cope with their problems and provide for themselves.

Each center offers residential housing, work, group and individual therapy, all in a clean, wholesome environment. The physical and spiritual care that program participants receive prepares them to re-enter society and return to gainful employment. Many of those who have been rehabilitated are reunited with their families and resume a normal life. Anytime you shop or donate to our Family Stores, you are helping someone have a new start to their life.

Clayton is one of our amazing True Stories of Recovery. His story was featured at The Salvation Army’s 2015 Doing The Most Good Luncheon. Read his story here:

Clayton working at The Salvation ArmyClayton

“I was completely broken. No hope, despair, you name it. I was fighting a long term drug addiction of alcohol, opiates and crack cocaine …. I basically lost everything. I lost the place I was staying … my job and my car, and the mother of my child left me.”

Clayton was homeless and living out of a crack house when he heard about the Salvation Army. Clayton knew the Salvation Army as the folks who “stand out front of Walmart and ring bells at Christmas time.” He soon learned that The Salvation Army does that and so much more.

When Clayton first walked into our Adult Rehabilitation Center, he met a young man who would become his bible study partner. What began as the two of them quickly grew into a weekly small group of men studying the word … and reading the Purpose Driven Life.

For Clayton, God’s word made the difference.

Clayton has been living at the ARC for 16 months. He is actively involved in a local church and works for the Salvation Army. He hopes to soon be reunited full time with his wife and daughter.

Through the program Clayton says he has “learned how to be a father, to commit to things, to be a man of my word. I get to be the father that my father never was.”

He says, “I’d like to give back that hope that was given to me … when I see people on the street corner I can tell them I know what they’re going through and there is a place that can help.”

How can you help? Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (728-7825) to make a donation today. Or visit anyone of our four Austin locations to donate or shop:

4216 S. Congress Avenue, 78745

8801 B Research Boulevard, 78758

601 W. Louis Henna Boulevard, Round Rock, 78728

13530 N Hwy 183, 78750

Store Hours are M-T-Th-F 10-7 and Wed. & Sat. 10-8

*Click here for more information on our Rehabilitation Program and to read more True Stories of Recovery:

Shop at our Family Store today!

Dianna Thomas and Colonel Gonzalez - DTMG Award

Doing the Most Good Award


Dianna Thomas and Colonel Henry Gonzalez

Dianna Thomas and Colonel Henry Gonzalez

The Salvation Army Austin gave its quarterly Doing The Most Good Award last Thursday, June 12, 2015. The recipient of this award was Dianna Thomas.

Dianna Thomas has been with The Salvation Army for 11 wonderful years. She works at The Austin Shelter for Women and Children, operated by The Salvation Army. Performing her job well is important to Dianna. She is hard working and committed to the mission of the Army. Dianna is supportive, dependable, and always willing to help others.

She has spent countless hours sorting donations and organizing, cleaning and maintaining the clothing closet. Dianna knows the clothing closet is an important piece of how we serve those in our shelters, providing them a pleasant place to find clothing. When the department was understaffed Dianna filled in wherever needed, which included covering three different shifts in the same week.

Despite working so many hours, Dianna continued to serve clients with dignity and kindness. She volunteers to work Thanksgiving AND Christmas every year so her co-workers can spend time with family.

She enjoys serving all individuals in need…both human and animal…She spends her own money to buy food for the shelter mascot, a local cat named Blackjack.

For all of these reasons, we are proud to present Dianna Thomas as our Doing the Most Good Award recipient. Congratulations to you Dianna! We are truly blessed to have you with us.

Clothing Closet - Austin Shelter for Women and Children

Clothing Closet – Austin Shelter for Women and Children


River Rising on KXAN featuring Salvation Army Relief Efforts

River Rising – KXAN Special Report and Salvation Army Flood Relief Efforts

If you missed the KXAN “River Rising” Special, watch it here to learn more about one of the most historic weather events to hit Texas and how you can help your neighbors in need through The Salvation Army.

An in-depth look at the historical Memorial Weekend flood in Central Texas, including discussions with victims, a scientific explanation of how it happened from the KXAN weather team, and an investigative look at how to keep a similar level of destruction from happening again.

River Rising features Salvation Army flood relief efforts and invites the community to make a donation to support these efforts.

Salvation Army Flood Relief Efforts in Central Texas

The Salvation Army has been supporting flood relief efforts in San Marcos and Wimberley for fifteen consecutive days, providing meals, drinks and emotional support to first responders and survivors. See our flood relief press releases here for more details.

The Salvation Army staff and volunteers have served 20,097 meals, 32,893 drinks, 24,992 snacks, 2,418 comfort kits, 996 clean up kits and emotional support to survivors of the Texas Floods. Our multiple mobile feeding kitchens (canteens), allowed The Salvation Army staff and volunteers to deliver meals into a number of hard-hit neighborhoods. In addition, we provided hygiene kits and diapers for flood survivors.

A laundry unit was deployed into Wimberley, Texas, giving flood survivors the welcome opportunity to wash their clothes. Our furry friends were not forgotten. Even cat food and dog food was provided to pets in need.

Learn more at the How to Help or Get Help blog post.

These efforts are possible through the monetary donations of generous and concerned citizens in our communities who want to help. 100% of all donations to support the flood are allocated to this disaster relief effort.

TSA 2015.06 TSA Texas Flood Banner eMail-940x404

The Salvation Army has now transitioned into long-term support as we work with other disaster response agencies to determine how best to support the ongoing flood recovery which we know will take a long time. Salvation Army locations in these local communities will continue providing care with compassion to those in need.

The Salvation Army coordinates with local and State Emergency Management and with Volunteers Active in Disaster (VOAD) to serve first responders and survivors affected by the devastating flooding in Central Texas.

You can count on The Salvation Army to do the most good with your money.

Click here to make your secure donation to help families devastated by the floods.

Donations in the form of checks designated to Texas Storm Relief may also be mailed to: The Salvation Army PO Box 1000 Austin, Texas, 78767


Text “TXFLOODS” to 51555 to donate. Message and data rates may apply.

Every dollar counts. The Salvation Army thanks you for your support of the Texas Flood disaster relief efforts.

Salvation Army Texas Laundry Unit

Salvation Army Laundry Unit Deployed to Wimberley

Salvation Army Texas Laundry Unit

Meal Delivery and Distribution of Supplies for Survivors Continues

Austin, Texas (May 30, 2015) – The Salvation Army has deployed a laundry unit to Wimberley, Texas, giving flood survivors the welcome opportunity to wash their clothes. Emergency disaster services volunteers and staff continue to provide hot meals, cold drinks and much-needed hygiene supplies and food boxes to residents cleaning up from flooding.

The laundry unit is located at 100 Carney Lane in Wimberley (78676) and is a totally self-contained facility with its own electrical generator and on board water tank. The unit is air-conditioned with three washers and three dryers allowing people to wash clothes as often as needed. The Salvation Army furnishes all of the necessary supplies, and a monitor is on the scene, helping to maintain the unit and provide assistance.

The Williamson County mobile kitchen, operated year-round entirely by volunteers, provided roving meal delivery service in Wimberley on Friday. The San Marcos Activity Center, located at 501 E. Hopkins, was very busy on Friday as The Salvation Army served meals to 1,588 and 3,973 drinks to flood survivors. Two mobile kitchens from the San Antonio Area Command provided service, with one of the units roving through the worst affected areas serving lunch.

The community has rallied to the support of their neighbors donating many basic necessities including diapers, wipes, toilet paper and hygiene items. The Salvation Army organized and distributed these items, as well as food boxes to families and even took care of four legged family members, by having much requested dog and cat food available.

The Salvation Army staff will be offering assistance at the Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) in the following communities:

Wimberley MARC – Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Rd 12, Wimberley, Texas – Open 5/29/15-5/30/15 (8AM-8PM)
San Marcos MARC – St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Claretian Hall, 624 East Hopkins St., San Marcos, Texas – Open 5/31/15-6/1/15 (8AM-8PM)

Elsewhere in Texas, The Salvation Army provided drinks and snacks to people caught in flash flooding in Dallas and Houston after persistent, heavy rain. Meal service continued in Henderson by the Tyler Corps canteen.

Emotional and spiritual support is an integral part of Salvation Army disaster response. Salvation Army Officers (ordained pastors) and trained staff are available to listen to the often tragic experiences of disaster survivors and to provide prayer and counseling.

Please support the ongoing disaster work of The Salvation Army and help Texans affected by recent floods by making a financial donation at by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by texting TXFLOODS to 51555 (message and data rates may apply) Text HELP for help. Text STOP to unsubscribe.

If you are interested in learning more about The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) in Texas, or to become a local disaster volunteer, please visit:
For the most up-to-date emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army flood relief, please visit: follow latest updates on Twitter and Facebook at

About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services:
“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 126 years in the Austin area. Locally more than 400,000 people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to stability. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to (, and

Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott visits Salvation Army Austin

First Lady Cecilia Abbott Lends Her Support to The Salvation Army

Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott visits Salvation Army Austin

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott stopped by this week to lend her support to The Salvation Army and the work we do year round and especially now during our disaster relief efforts. Lt. Colonels Henry and Dorris Gonzalez received a generous donation from her and presented her with a commemorative Texas 125th Anniversary book and the Austin annual report.

Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott visits Salvation Army Austin


The staff gathered to meet Mrs. Abbott who shared with us her gratitude for all the work of The Salvation Army in Austin and around the great State of Texas. We were honored to be able to have a casual visit with the very authentic Mrs. Abbott and her team.

Thank you for your support of The Salvation Army USA, Mrs. Abbott!

Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott visits Salvation Army Austin Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott visits Salvation Army Austin

Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott visits Salvation Army Austin