The Salvation Army first offered emergency disaster assistance after a major hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, in September 1900. The hurricane destroyed the coastal city and killed thousands of people. At the request of The Salvation Army?s National Commander, Frederick Booth ? Tucker, officers from across the country moved into the Galveston area to help feed and shelter the thousands of survivors and provided much-needed emotional and spiritual support.
Since then, The Salvation Army has responded to numerous natural disasters, transportation accidents, civil unrest situations and terrorist attacks. Officers, staff and volunteers provide beverages, meals and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors, and bring hope and healing to people in need.
During each emergency, The Salvation Army focuses on providing seven core services. These services may be modified based on the magnitude of the disaster and adapted to meet the specific needs of individual survivors.
While natural disasters can pull the rug out from under you, you are not alone. The Salvation Army responds to disasters with support and love to survivors and first responders, including food, shelter, spiritual support and long-term recovery. The Salvation Army is usually the first organization on the scene, and often the last to leave. Disaster relief and recovery services are provided to all in need without discrimination.
The first step in being ready to respond to an emergency is preparation. In partnership with other agencies, The Salvation Army offers disaster training on a variety of topics designed to help people and communities prepare for emergency situations. Those who complete the classes are eligible to volunteer during disasters.
When disaster strikes, one of the first signs that help is on the way is the arrival of a Salvation Army mobile feeding unit, offering meals, snacks and drinks to rescue works and survivors.
Emotional and Spiritual Care
Motivated by Christian faith, The Salvation Army deploys specially trained individuals to offer emotional and spiritual care to rescue workers and disaster survivors.
The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) includes a worldwide network of volunteer radio operators and other communications specialists who may be mobilized to transmit emergency information during a disaster event.
Disaster Social Services
After a family has lost everything in a disaster, The Salvation Army is there to provide emergency assistance to help meet survivors? most urgent needs for food, clothing, shelter and medical services.
The Salvation Army is one of the nation's leaders in responsibly collecting, sorting and distributing donated goods. The Salvation Army encourages cash donations as the best and most flexible way to help and solicits only those in-kind donations that can be received and distributed in an efficient manner.
The Salvation Army supports long-term disaster recovery operations with flexible programming that is adaptable to the unique needs of individual communities.