As first responders in the Bahama Islands begin assessing the damage from catastrophic Hurricane Dorian, The Salvation Army is ready to provide assistance and meet the immediate needs of food, clothing, tarpaulins, cleanup kits, and emotional and spiritual care. As the storm crawls toward the U.S., The Salvation Army’s network of trained disaster staff and volunteers are on the ground in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, ready to serve. With more than 7,600 centers of operation across the country, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to mobilize and serve communities before, during and after a natural disaster strikes.
Grand Bahama, along with the Abaco Islands to the east, has experienced severe flooding and structural damage as a result of the Category 5 hurricane.
“From what we’ve seen so far, the damage from Dorian seems to be most severe,” said Major Clarence Ingram, Salvation Army divisional commander in the Bahamas. “Compounding the transport and logistics difficulties, the airports are closed because of the effects of the storm. Right now, the best way to support response efforts is by making a financial contribution. This allows necessary items to be purchased and ensures that disaster survivors receive assistance quickly.”
In the U.S., more than 50 mobile feeding units (canteens) are on standby for post-landfall deployment to serve survivors and first responders. Each mobile unit can serve 500 to 1,500 meals per day, and additional trailers are being positioned along the coast to distribute water. Volunteers have gathered at The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services warehouse in Tampa to pack cleanup kits that include trash bags, sponges, gloves, bleach, hand sanitizer, and other supplies. The Salvation Army estimates that more than 3,000 cleanup kits will be packed within just a few days. The destination of the kits remains unknown as needs arise in the Bahamas and across the U.S. East Coast.
The Salvation Army will work with state and local emergency management officials to determine needs and coordinate resources.
“We are part of the solution,” says Mike Patterson, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of the Carolinas. “One organization can’t do it all but, serving together, we can use our strengths to help people when tragedy strikes.”
To make a financial gift to support Hurricane Dorian response and relief efforts:
- Donate online: HelpSalvationArmy.org
- Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
- Donate by mail: The Salvation Army, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301 (designate “2019 Hurricane – Dorian” on all checks)
- Donate by Amazon Echo: say, “Alexa, make a donation to The Salvation Army”
After immediate needs are met, The Salvation Army will remain within the impacted communities to implement long-term recovery efforts.