Alexandria, Virginia (August 29, 2011) - As Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast this past weekend Salvation Army teams moved into action. The Salvation Army Damange Assessment Teams focused on mass feeding and emergency response teams were put in place to support shelter operations, police, fire and rescue personnel throughout the East Coast.
Salvation Army damage assessment teams throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware are still receiving significant requests for mass care after widespread power outages, downed power lines and trees and localized flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. There continue to be thousands of evacuees housed in shelters across the region, especially those living in low lying areas prone to storm surge, as well as several senior centers. Most of The Salvation Army’s current response is focused on mass feeding of evacuees as well as fire, rescue, police and other emergency response personnel.
“The initial damage reports are leaving us cautiously optimistic that there has not been widespread structural damage or injuries,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary in the U.S. “But flooding remains a problem, particularly in New England, and there is a significant response ongoing. It is critical that we provide the base of support for damage assessment teams, rescue personnel and survivors to ensure everyone weathers the fallout from this storm safely.”
Dozens of canteens are on the move throughout the East Coast, heading to shelter locations and in support of roving emergency responders. A sampling of the response so far:
- The Salvation Army has already served some 15,000 meals to first responders and evacuees in New Jersey.
- Nearly 14,000 meals, snacks and drinks have been served in Greenville, Washington, Elizabeth City and Morehead City in the Carolinas.
- In Norfolk and Spotsylvania Counties, VA, The Salvation Army has already served more than 6,400 meals, snacks and drinks and provided lodging to 265 people.
- More than 5,000 meals, snacks and drinks have been served at multiple shelter locations throughout Maryland and West Virginia.
- In Connecticut, The Salvation Army has served hundreds of meals to evacuees at shelters as well as to first responders.
- The Salvation Army is feeding at numerous shelter facilities throughout Massachusetts and other parts of New England
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.
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.
Local residents are encourage to contact their local Salvation Army headquarters to find out more information on how to help hurrican victims.