The Salvation Army Responds to Hurricane Ian as Fiona Relief Continues
The Salvation Army is providing resources and personnel to meet the immediate needs of survivors and first responders of Hurricane Ian's historic landfall in Florida. Ian comes just days after Hurricane Fiona ravaged Puerto Rico, where The Salvation Army is still serving survivors and first responders.
Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm the night of Wednesday, Sept. 28, on the west coast of Florida. Main concerns include a heavy storm surge leading to severe flooding conditions along the coastline. With the entire state of Florida now under a state of emergency and about 1 million residents planning to evacuate ahead of landfall, The Salvation Army is positioning resources and personnel to respond to widespread need as efficiently as possible.
"We have mobile feeding units and disaster response teams along the Florida coast," said Major Todd Hawks, Community Relations and Development secretary for The Salvation Army's USA Southern Territory. "With the public's generous support, we will be able to serve this community for as long as we are needed."
On the second front of the recent explosion of hurricane activity, The Salvation Army is continuing to meet the needs of Hurricane Fiona survivors and first responders in Puerto Rico by providing a wide range of emergency services. Many of the communities being served are the same ones who have been dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria which made landfall five years ago.
"Disaster relief is always about the long game," said Bob Myers, Emergency Disaster Services director for The Salvation Army's USA Eastern Territory. "It's about helping people to get their houses and their communities rebuilt. It's also about providing long-term emotional and spiritual care to disaster survivors as much as we can, because sometimes the recovery on the inside can be harder than the recovery on the outside."
The Salvation Army has as many as 37 canteens (mobile feeding units) and one field kitchen ready to mobilize across the impacted area immediately after the worst effects of the storm are realized.
- Each one of these can feed 500-1,500 people per day
- A caravan including Salvation Army mobile feeding units and a Southern Baptist field kitchen departed from Texas with over 6,000 pre-made meals and began feeding Saturday.
- The Salvation Army is already serving some of the predicted 1M evacuees at a few of their shelters in Florida.
- Two major warehouses in Tampa, Florida and McDonough, Georgia (near Atlanta) are being prepped with food, water, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and anything else that will be needed by the thousands of people in the storm's path.
- The Salvation Army provided hot lunch and dinner for residents of Charlotte Towers Assisted Living facility in Port Charlotte, Florida which has been having trouble keeping generators running due to a shortage of diesel.
- The Salvation Army is partnering with Walmart by allowing Salvation Army canteens to set up and provide meal service in their parking lots in areas affected by Hurricane Ian. In the past three weeks the Walmart Foundation has committed $300,000 in support to The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army has served more than 18,778 individuals and distributed the following items at its community centers in San Juan, Caguas, Bayamón, Mayagüez, Arecibo, Loíza, Guayama, Humacao, Ponce, Peñuelas, and Fajardo:
- 20,000+ prepared meals, food boxes/meal kits, and snacks
- 19,326 drinks and bottles of water
- 1,942 packs of diapers
- 662 personal hygiene kits
- 519 ice bags
- 990 cleanup kits and cleaning products
- 107 blankets
Additional services and items provided at some Salvation Army community centers include:
- Charging stations for people to charge personal devices like mobile phones, laptops, portable medical equipment, etc.
- Emotional and spiritual counseling and support
- Clothing for children and adults
The Salvation Army disaster personnel are also collaborating with federal, state, and local emergency management agencies and other social services organizations in both locations to monitor ongoing impacts and adapt response efforts, if necessary.
For more information on The Salvation Army's continued response, visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
To make a financial gift to support Hurricane relief efforts:
- Donate online: www.HelpSalvationArmy.org
- Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
One hundred percent of designated disaster donations go to direct services for survivors and first responders.