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Flooding in Elk County - image via wajctv.com

Severe Flooding in Elk County, Pennsylvania

Flooding in Elk County - image via wajctv.com

Image via wajctv.com


The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) is on scene in Ridgeway, PA (Elk County) responding to severe overnight flooding. The area has been hit hard with nearly half a foot of water, destroying over eight homes and several apartment buildings. Numerous families are displaced and have lost everything.

The Salvation Army EDS Punxsutawney team arrived on scene at 4:30 a.m. and the Pittsburgh team is en route as of 1:00 p.m. to provide additional food, hydration, and clean-up kits. Lt. Ester from The Salvation Army Ridgeway Unit is on-site providing emotional and spiritual care.

Our canteens were used to provide nearly 75 victims and first responders with breakfast. In addition, we fed over 300 people lunch and expect around 300 for dinner as well.

Teams on-site report that the water is starting to recede and the clean-up process is underway. The National Weather Service predicts scattered and isolated thunderstorms throughout the area until Saturday with a 20% chance of rain.

Other agencies on site include The American Red Cross, which set up a shelter, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), and Ridgeway Fire Department. We will continue to follow the status of the disaster and keep everyone informed as more information comes to light.

Emergency Disaster Services Joins Community Group to Feed the Hungry

Emergency Disaster Services Joins Community Group to Feed the Hungry

Emergency Disaster Services Joins Community Group to Feed the Hungry

Jackson, MS (February 26, 2014) -The Salvation Army EDS Department along with the Jackson Area Coordinate partnered with an area nonprofit to serve food to Jackson Mississippi’s hungry and homeless.

Every Sunday afternoon, Why Not Now Ministries of Mississippi, joins area organizations and church groups to provide a meal to the most needy in the Jackson, MS area. While The Salvation Army already had a feeding program in place, one of The Salvation Army’s most faithful disaster volunteers, Tony Kumor brought an idea up to the EDS department. Tony thought that this would be a good place to practice our food service along with helping those in need, and the EDS department agreed.

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services are constantly looking to train and practice their unique feeding ministry, so situations where they can exercise their resources are priceless. When the idea of using this practice time to serve the hungry of Jackson came up, it was an easy decision to make.

The Salvation Army and Why Not Now of Mississippi worked for most of the afternoon this past Sunday serving 125 individuals. Kumor stated that this number was up about 30 people from the previous week.

The Salvation Army stands ready to assist all those in need during times of national disasters, and personal ones.

via Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services.

USA National Commander Visits Minamisannriku

Japan Tsunami Recovery Continues With Help from Salvation Army


Courtesy of www.theaustralian.com.au

Contributed by Brian Swarts, Assistant Program Director – Strategic Planning for The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).

Two years ago today, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan creating a tsunami large and powerful enough to rush several miles inland and cover the rooftops of five-story buildings. Nearly 19,000 were left dead or missing and over 300,000 were displaced. In Japan this day is remembered as 3.11.

On that day, thousands were forced out of their homes into temporary shelters. Most of these people lost not only their homes, but also their livelihoods and their friends. Yet, in the midst of this tragedy, The Salvation Army was ready with open arms and helping hands from the very beginning, and we continue today walking alongside communities as they strive to rebuild their lives.

Immediately after the disaster hit, Salvation Army corps opened up their doors to provide food and shelter to victims and our canteen (mobile kitchen) vehicles traveled from shelter to shelter to share hot meals and words of comfort with those who were suffering. The Salvation Army also provided heaters and other essential items to help elderly citizens and families prepare for a harsh winter in their temporary homes.

Since 3.11.11, we have been working hand-in-hand with several hard-hit fishing villages on the northeast coast, offering hope and vital resources for their recovery. In the town of Onagawa, The Salvation Army has worked with city officials, the chamber of commerce and a local company, Trident Seafoods, to build a temporary shopping center so business owners could get back to work and locals would have a place to meet their basic needs. We have also supported the local fisherman’s union, the life blood of this small community, to replace lost boats and equipment so they would not miss the fishing season. Similar efforts have been undertaken in other towns, such as Ofunato and Mininamisanriku, which even has a campaign to promote tourism by building a tsunami remembrance hall and inviting outside visitors to celebrate important Japanese festivals in solidarity with their town. It is the temporary shopping center, supported by The Salvation Army, which is at the heart of all of these efforts.


The Salvation Army donated forklifts and other essential equipment to devastated villages.


Donations allowed The Salvation Army to provide fishing boats to hard-hit villages.

Yet, the most memorable gestures of support are smaller ones. They are the stories of Salvation Army officers celebrating Christmas with elderly citizens isolated in temporary housing shelters or the support that The Salvation Army has given to a woman helping youth with developmental disabilities – she is the only source of comfort and support in her small town for many who are dealing with the tragedy.


Visiting with displaced senior citizens residing at temporary shelters.


Commissioner William A. Roberts, National Commander of The Salvation Army USA visits the town of Minamisannriku, where The Salvation Army continues to serve and provide recovery services.

Doing The Most Good we can for those in greatest need is central to the mission of The Salvation Army and we have a vision to continue doing this in Japan as communities recover. After two years most victims, many of them elderly and alone, are still displaced from their homes and hometowns. The Salvation Army has been requested by the local government to visit and provide counseling to these residents to ensure they know that they have not been forgotten and they do not lose hope for the future.

If you would like to support The Salvation Army’s continued recovery efforts in Japan and around the world, please donate to The Salvation Army’s World Service Office at: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/SAWSO.

Reposted from the The Salvation Army USA’s Blog.

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Florida IMATeam Puts Skills to Test in Joint Exercise

Osceola County, Fl—The Salvation Army’s Incident Command (IC) was thrown a curve ball this afternoon when a canteen and two disaster service workers became a crucial part of the FBI’s terrorism exercise. When Douglas Corwin (Melbourne Corps) and Lance Rocks (Tampa Divisional Disaster Department) went on a routine Emergency Responder hydration run, they found it to be anything but “routine.”

In a coordinated joint exercise with the FBI and Florida National Guard, The Salvation Army’s Incident Management Assessment Team (IMAT) was put to the test to identify what went wrong and how a tragedy of this magnitude could be prevented in a “real-life” situation. As the smoke cleared and the phones began to ring inside the Mobile Command Unit, news came in that a canteen had been involved in an explosion critically injuring players involved.

Kevin Smith, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for the Florida Division of The Salvation Army stated, “Joint exercises like this allow us to respond more effectively in real life events caring for our team members while maintaining service to survivors.”

The Salvation Army National Disaster Training Program includes a curriculum of classroom training and functional exercises to create local response teams that help people in their time of need. Individuals can learn more about this exciting training program by logging on to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/training.

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 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

The Salvation Army of Hampton Roads Preparing as Sandy Approaches

Hampton Roads, VA (October 26, 2012)—The Hampton Roads Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (“EDS”) continues to prepare as Hurricane Sandy approaches the region and North Carolina-Virginia border.

The Salvation Army Men’s Hope Center Shelter in Norfolk (203 West 19th Street) is prepared and planning to open as necessary as the storm approaches. In coordination with the Office to End Homelessness, the Men’s Hope Center is prepared to host women and men in need of shelter.

The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchen (canteen) is prepping to assist southside Hampton Roads to assist with relief efforts. Mobile kitchens are capable of serving 1,000 meals per day.

In Virginia, Salvation Army teams are collaborating with emergency management officials to ensure preparedness.

The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps on Airline Boulevard in Portsmouth, Virginia is preparing the facility to serve meals to the residents in need in Portsmouth should the need arise.

The Salvation Army is asking residents of Hampton Roads and northern North Carolina to be prepared with an emergency disaster plan. Critical decisions need to be made ahead of time, before the storm makes landfall.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation, suggested supplies, planning and response to Hurricane Sandy, please visit  www.SalvationArmyHRVA.org Salvation Army Hampton Roads or  @salarmyhr.

Assistance Continues For Those Impacted By Waldo Canyon Fire

Colorado Springs, CO (July 7, 2012)—The Salvation Army continues to offer aid to the several hundred individuals affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire, which has been burning West of Colorado Springs since June 23. Three teams of volunteers are assisting to meet the immediate and short-term needs of fire survivors, while also addressing the needs of emergency personnel as they finish fighting the flames and prepare for possible rain-related flooding.

One Salvation Army mobile feeding unit is stationed near the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, offering fresh meals, drinks and aid to both fire evacuees and emergency personnel assisting with fire combat and relief. In addition, this team will serve and assist 150 National Guard members assembling sandbags in preparation of possible flooding that could result from the heavy rain that is due to reach Colorado Springs today. The Salvation Army is also staging teams and supplies in preparation for possible flooding and mudslides that could occur the areas burned by the recent fire.

A second mobile team will roam key neighborhoods where evacuees are now allowed to return, offering cold drinks, snacks, as well as care and assistance to those affected families. Trained Emotional and Spiritual Care volunteers are a part of the team, offering care and counseling as requested by survivors.

Waldo Canyon Fire DRC – 7/6/12

Two friendly Salvation Army volunteers are on hand at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to help meet the needs of those affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, CO.

The Salvation Army is also working in cooperation with El Paso County and multiple non-profit and governmental agencies to offer assistance to all residents impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire at a designated Disaster Response Center (DRC). Volunteers from the Salvation Army’s Colorado Springs Social Services Department are providing financial assistance, hygiene kits and other items to those individuals who seek assistance at the center. In addition, Salvation Army personnel are assessing other immediate and long-term needs for each family, which The Salvation Army’s Family Services Department can continue to meet after the DRC closes. Over the past four days, roughly 250 families have been assisted at the DRC.

Since June 24, when The Salvation Army began responding to the Waldo Canyon Fire, 16,894 meals, 20,685 snacks and 44,011 bottles of water have been distributed to a mix of fire survivors, first responders, emergency and military teams, FEMA response teams, and utility workers.

As immediate relief transitions into long-term recovery, The Salvation Army is preparing to serve not only those whose homes were damaged in the fire, but also those whose place of employment has been affected by the fire, resulting in an inability to conduct work and even layoffs.

Donations:

The best way to help fire survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. There are a variety of ways public can support The Salvation Army’s wildfire disaster relief efforts:

• Online: Visit www.imsalvationarmy.org
• Phone: Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY – Designate gift “Disaster Relief” or ”Wildfires”
• Mail: Designate “Disaster Relief” or “Wildfires” on check/money order, mail to:

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 2369
Denver, CO 80201-2369

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted outside the disaster area. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store: more information at www.SATruck.com or 1-800-SA-TRUCK.

The Salvation Army is grateful to the public for their continued support.

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 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. For more information, go to www.imsalvationarmy.org.

Salvation Army continues to help those affected by Tropical Storm Debby

Tampa, FL (July 6)—The Salvation Army continues to respond almost two weeks after Tropical Storm Debby dumped more than 20 inches of rain in some parts of Florida. The Salvation Army of Florida has its canteens (mobile kitchens) serving residents in Wakulla, Suwannee, Franklin, Columbia and Pasco counties.

Since being dispatched on June 26, The Salvation Army has served more than 27,000 meals and snacks, 1,900 food boxes, 2,000 clean-up kits and more than 1,600 family hygiene kits in Florida.

Capt. Julio Da Silva, Salvation Army corps officer in Tallahassee, continues to serve residents in Panacea and Sopchoppy in rural Wakulla county.

“The needs are changing from life-sustaining to clean up and recovery,” Da Silva said. “While we are able to give them food and water to help them physically what these people need is someone to stand beside them and reassure them.”

Lt. Preston Lewis, from Gainesville has been serving in Live Oak at the Suwannee Coliseum Complex, which is been set up as a disaster recovery center. He has seen a significant increase in the number of people coming to the recovery center.

“Flood survivors are now getting back in their homes and seeking resources to help them recover,” Lewis said. “We just want to be here for them in any way that we can, even if it is a shoulder to cry on. You might be surprised how far that will carry someone.”

In the aftermath of a storm, Salvation Army officers and staff have been focusing on meeting the immediate needs of disaster survivors and first-responders but have now begun to provide materials to help them in the clean up and recovery process.

For more information about how The Salvation Army is responding to Tropical Storm Debby and other disasters, please log on to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. You can also follow @salarmyeds, @salarmyfla, @salarmyflaeds or search “Salvation Army Florida Division” on Facebook to access the latest information.

As The Salvation Army continues to help those in need, The Salvation Army continues to need financial support in the ongoing recovery efforts. Corporations like FedEx an BP have already assisted with the relief efforts and more help is needed. Individuals and businesses that would like to help those affected by this disaster can visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations are needed to meet survivors’most immediate needs. A $100 donation can feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies.

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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

The Salvation Army responds to Tropical Storm Debby

Lutz, FL (June 26, 2012)—Today The Salvation Army deployed seven canteens (mobile kitchens) to communities flooded by Tropical Storm Debby.

Disaster teams from Clay, Marion, Alachua, Citrus counties as well as Jacksonville, Tallahassee and North Central Florida Outpost (Madison county) are being assembled and will begin helping residents as soon as they arrive to the destination.

Those communities include Suwannee, Franklin, Wakaulla and Nassau counties. The Salvation Army is on standby in Hillsborough county to help support a community along the Manatee river.

“From Naples to Panama City, Debby is definitely making its mark on Florida,” said Kevin Smith, Emergency Disaster Services director for The Salvation Army of Florida. “It’s amazing what this storm has done.”

The Salvation Army plans to distribute hot meals, clean up kits and water.

Smith said The Salvation Army is committed to helping communities affected by the storm even after the flood waters recede.

“We are thankful that the storm hasn’t intensified, but we are concerned for the impact of the rising water and increase tides and how that will affect those along the rivers across Florida,” Smith said.

In the short-term, The Salvation Army will focus primarily on the immediate needs of disaster survivors and first-responders, providing food and hydration for impacted individuals and families.

For more information about how The Salvation Army is responding to Tropical Storm Debby and other disasters, please log on to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. You can also follow @salarmyeds, @salarmyfla, @salarmyflaeds or search “Salvation Army Florida Division” on Facebook to access the latest information.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by disaster to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations are needed to meet survivors’ most immediate needs. A $100 donation can feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies.

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Salvation Army Continues Long-Term Recovery in Southern States On One-Year Anniversary of Tornadoes

The Salvation Army continues to provide long-term emergency relief services to the residents whose lives were forever changed following a series of devastating tornadoes that ravaged parts of the southern United States in April 2011. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Response (EDS) teams immediately responded to the storms and provided 4.8 million meals, snacks and drinks, as well as material, emotional and spiritual care to survivors throughout all impacted states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

“These were a series of storms that not only changed lives one year ago, but changed lives forever and The Salvation Army will be in these communities to make these changes easier,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “From day one, The Salvation Army has been and will continue to be committed to the long-term recovery efforts by addressing the on-the-ground needs of families impacted throughout the South.”

Within minutes of the storms making landfall last year, The Salvation Army deployed multiple mobile feeding units throughout the southern states, providing warm meals, snacks and drinks, along with emotional support and basic materials to thousands of individuals. As the disaster operation transitioned from immediate response into long-term recovery, The Salvation Army is still on-site in many of these communities, providing continued support to those in need. Long-term recovery plans in support of communities and survivors of the April 2011 tornadoes in the southern United States include:

ALM Division (Serving Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi)
• As rebuilding continues across Alabama and Mississippi, The Salvation Army, in partnership with Long Term Recovery Committees in 13 communities, is working to connect applicants to available assistance through the various agencies in specific service areas, including:
      o Community capacity: Signature community projects were identified to help rebuild parks,

      community centers, and other projects by community leaders, long term recovery       committees, and The Salvation Army.
      o Disaster Social Services: The Salvation Army is providing direct financial assistance to

      survivors through trained case workers. This assistance is provided for essential living

     supplies, emergency household needs and rebuilding supplies.
      o Distribution centers: The Salvation Army continues to operate distribution centers for
      survivors in affected areas. Food boxes, donated furniture, clothing, and other recovery
     items are available through these warehouses.

• On Thursday, May 3, 2012 FedEx, The Salvation Army and NASCAR driver, Denny Hamlin, are partnering to bring awareness to the importance of ongoing recovery efforts, specifically in the Tuscaloosa, AL area. Together, the two organizations and Hamlin will welcome a local family into a new home, which was built after the family’s original home was destroyed last spring. The home is the first to be rebuilt in the Alberta City neighborhood of Tuscaloosa.
• The Salvation Army and FedEx previously partnered on rebuilding communities in New Orleans, where the Army established the EnviRenew initiative that built environmentally friendly homes for Hurricane Katrina survivors.

GEO Division (Serving Georgia)
• The Salvation Army of Georgia immediately responded by serving nine counties, including Spalding, Lamar, Troup, LaGrange, Floyd, Bartow, Meriwether, Troup, and Rabun.
• The Salvation Army implemented a long-term recovery plan for these impacted areas, funded by $1 million received in donations, that includes assistance with building materials, appliances, household items, furniture, short-term case management for resettlement assistance and the hiring of three social workers. From this money spent, we have to able to serve 25 households, with 60 households awaiting immediate final approval.
• In addition, The Salvation Army is helping rebuild Spalding County’s historic 107 year-old Vaughn United Methodist Church, which was destroyed by the tornadoes. The Salvation Army is supporting the efforts of rebuilding the church by providing furnishing materials.

KTN Division (Serving Kentucky, Tennessee and Northwest Georgia)
• This weekend, as part of the one year anniversary of the tornadoes, The Salvation Army of KTN will take part memorial services and volunteer celebrations, recognizing the lives lost and the efforts of those working to rebuild lives throughout the area.
• The Salvation Army of Greater Chattanooga began serving storm survivors immediately after the first tornadoes swept through Bradley County the afternoon of April 27, and began service in Catoosa County later that evening. On April 28, disaster recovery response widened to include more of Bradley and Hamilton counties in TN and Catoosa, Walker and Dade counties in GA.
• The Greater Chattanooga Area Command served in all Disaster Response Centers weeks after the storm and hired additional case workers to better serve the needs of storm survivors in the long-term recovery efforts in each of these counties, which includes direct disaster recovery assistance and development of new community projects that were lost during the storms.
• The Salvation Army also provided warm meals and drinks, as well as emotional and spiritual care in Murfreesboro, TN and Danville, KY.

AOK Division (Serving Arkansas & Oklahoma)
• In Arkansas, The Salvation Army provided immediate emergency assistance to tornado survivors in the communities of Vilonia, Hot Springs Village, and Fountain Lake.
• The Salvation Army also worked with Oklahoma Emergency Management to facilitate services of food and drinks to Stillwell, Oklahoma.
• Currently, The Salvation Army is working to meeting the long-term recovery needs of disaster-affected households within these communities for as long as the Army is needed.

“Long-term recovery is a difficult path. The process of rebuilding homes and lives takes time and patience,” said Major Hood. “The Salvation Army will work with local governments, organizations and community members to make sure every individual and family will have a new place to call home.”