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When The Salvation Army responds to a disaster, our first aim is to meet the basic needs of both survivors and first responders.
In addition to providing food and material assistance, we also offer a ministry of presence, coming alongside those who are suffering and grieving by offering emotional support and physical comfort, as well as prayer and spiritual counseling when it is desired. If a disaster strikes your community, you can be sure that we will be among the first at the scene and the last to leave.
Often the most urgent need at the scene of a disaster is food and water for survivors and first responders. Food may be prepared and served at a nearby Salvation Army worship or service center or on location via one of our mobile kitchens. We also provide beverages that hydrate, replenish electrolytes and sustain energy.
In survivors' time of greatest need, we provide clean, safe shelter in our worship and service centers, as well as in local churches, schools and other temporary facilities. Disaster survivors can rest and be cared for as they figure out their next steps.
It's not unusual for survivors to emerge from a catastrophe with little but the clothes on their backs. We provide for the basic physical needs of people who have lost virtually everything, from clothing and personal hygiene items to household goods. We also assist with the daunting task of cleanup and long-term restoration by distributing supplies, coordinating volunteer rebuilding teams and establishing warehouses to distribute reconstruction supplies, often being the last volunteers to leave a disaster area.
Disaster relief and recovery services are provided to all in need, but for those who request it, our counselors, many of whom are ordained as clergy, also share the Word of God, prayer and spiritual counseling as a source of solace and hope. We also know that it's important to simply come alongside and be present with those who are suffering and grieving. Sometimes a quiet gesture of love and compassion can make all the difference.