Dallas, Texas (August 24, 2020) – The Salvation Army is closely monitoring not one, but two storms, that could potentially seriously impact communities in South East Texas and along the Gulf Coast. Tropical Storm Laura and Hurricane Marco are both anticipated to make landfall on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. 20 Salvation Army disaster units in Texas and neighboring states are fully stocked and on standby for deployment. Heavy rain and potential flash flooding are a possibility in greater Houston and throughout the Golden Triangle area.
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) staff has been in communication with all affected field units, staff, and volunteers, placing 10 mobile feeding units in Texas on standby for pre-positioning closer to the affected area. Each mobile feeding unit has the capacity to deliver up to 1,500 meals per day. Response teams and supplies will be staged north of the potential landfall for rapid deployment into affected communities.
“It is very unusual to have two storms threatening the Gulf Coast at the same time and our EDS teams in Texas are paying special attention to Hurricane Marco,” said Alvin Migues, Texas Emergency Services Director for The Salvation Army. “Many communities in Houston, Beaumont and Orange are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and extensive flooding caused by Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019. The Salvation Army was there to provide help and practical assistance after those storms, and we will be ready and prepared to deliver services again to those affected in the coming days.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented additional challenges for the emergency response teams. “Mobile kitchens, cooking and serving areas, and utensils, are all being deep-cleaned multiple times a day which takes time and increased supplies. Our teams are paying special attention to safety protocols put into place due to COVID-19, wearing PPE and social distancing. Many of our committed volunteers are older in age and so we are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe while ensuring we are in a position to effectively meet the needs of the community.”
Local preparations are underway in Houston where four mobile kitchens are stocked and ready for deployment. “At the height of service during Hurricane Harvey The Salvation Army had 103 mobile kitchens, from all over the country, serving food, snacks and drinks in Houston and South Texas,” said Major Zach Bell, Area Commander for The Salvation Army in Houston. “Our year-round commitment to serve those in crisis is only heightened during disaster response. Trained Salvation Army staff and volunteers not only provide for the immediate physical needs of those affected, but also for their emotional and spiritual needs through listening and sharing words of encouragement and prayer. The Salvation Army has been serving the residents of Houston since 1897, providing shelter, food, rehabilitation and much more, and we will continue to serve throughout this storm and beyond.”
For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx. To make a donation go www.helpsalvationarmy.org.