Salvation Army Western Division Responds to Tornado Aftermath

May 1, 2024 | by Daisy Hutzell-Rodman

When a series of tornados — including at least one that reached EF3 rating — ripped through Nebraska and Iowa April 26, The Salvation Army Western Division sprang into action.

The Emergency Disaster Services team for the Western Division (based in Omaha and serving Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota) first assisted those affected and first responders by providing food and bottled water, while other team members prepared to collect donations and established relief centers. 

On Saturday, longstanding partner Brite Ideas Decorating provided space at their business, 2011 N. 156th St., for a Disaster Relief Center. That DRC opened Sunday, April 28, the first DRC to open through The Salvation Army of Omaha since the floods of 2019 affected the area. Meanwhile, a team from Salvation Army Central Territorial Headquarters in Chicago brought a mobile command unit, a skid loader and a cargo truck.

On Monday, April 29, a second DRC opened at 4861 Lakeland Drive in Blair, and on Tuesday, April 30, a telethon on KETV Newswatch 7 helped raise much-needed funds.

“Our role, when disaster strikes, is to be wherever the city needs us to be,” Major Dan Sawka said during the telethon. “So when something happens like this, we’re working in the background, trying to make sure that we’re able to provide what people need.”

Due to the scope of the disaster, this relief effort will continue for several weeks. Disaster relief has been a core service of The Salvation Army since September 1900, when Galveston, Texas, was hit with a hurricane that destroyed the city and reportedly took the lives of more than 6,000 people. Salvation Army Commander Frederick Booth-Tucker, son-in-law of founder William Booth, engaged officers from across the country into the disaster-torn area to help feed and shelter thousands of survivors, along the way providing emotional and spiritual support.


Those wishing to volunteer may do so by calling the volunteer hotline at 402-898-6000, and monetary donations can be made by clicking here.

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