Salvation Army personnel throughout the USA Gulf Coast are mobilizing to respond to tropical storm Gustav, which is expected to develop into a serious category three hurricane at the beginning of September.
Salvation Army units in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have 100 mobile feeding units and three fully-equipped 54-foot field kitchens ready for immediate response. In addition, The Salvation Army is prepared to supplement these units with 70 canteens from inland states, as was necessary in response to hurricane Katrina. In total, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide a minimum of 560,000 meals a day, as necessary.
Thousands of trained emergency disaster services (EDS) personnel are on-call over what is a holiday weekend in the United States, as The Salvation Army coordinates response plans with state and federal emergency operations centres and other social service organizations. EDS personnel are prepared to help evacuate the homeless and provide for those who have no other means of support.
The Salvation Army will also provide clean-up kits, drinking water, hygiene kits, shower units and first-aid supplies, as well as emotional and spiritual care. The Salvation Armyâ€™s extensive network of volunteer ham-radio operators, SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network), will help maintain communications in case mobile phones and land lines are knocked out, and will provide missing persons support.
The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in Gustavâ€™s path to prepare an emergency supply kit, an evacuation plan and remain alert to all warnings and evacuation orders. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each individual family member, as well as flashlights, medication, and battery powered radio.
‘It is imperative that residents of New Orleans and the central Gulf Coast region heed all warnings and orders associated with tropical storm Gustav, regardless of its path,’ said Captain Ethan Frizzell, Area Commander for The Salvation Army in New Orleans. ‘It is important that each of us prepares now for Gustav.’
People who want to help those in the USA affected by tropical storm Gustav can learn more at The Salvation Army’s US National web site (www.salvationarmyusa.org). The Salvation Army in the United States is currently not accepting donations of clothing and furniture for storm victims, but is asking for financial support for its operations. Contributions may be made on-line using a major credit card at our secure web site (https://secure.salvationarmy.org). Donations should be marked ‘USA Gustav Disaster Relief‘.