2019 Annual Report | The Salvation Army AL, LA & MS Division

2019 Annual Report

The Salvation Army AL, LA & MS Division

Emotional & Spiritual Care

Alabama Tornado Outbreak

After the historic and devastating tornado outbreak that occurred in the Southeast on Sunday, March 3, 2019, The Salvation Army responded by sending an Incident Command Team to Opelika, Alabama. Hardest hit by the outbreak was the mostly rural area of Lee County, where a reported 23 fatalities occurred in the Beauregard community.

The exhaustive search and rescue effort ended on Wednesday, March 4, 2019, and homeowners and volunteer/relief agencies were finally allowed into Beauregard. The Salvation Army was among the first relief agencies to enter the area, serving hot meals, drinks, snacks, and providing emotional and spiritual care, as crews diligently worked on the massive cleanup effort and homeowners scoured the wreckage for anything they could salvage.

With total devastation as far as the eye could see, emotions were raw and the emotional and spiritual support component of The Salvation Army’s disaster relief services filled a great need. “I couldn’t ask for a more awesome person to come sit with us and pray with us yesterday. That meant the world to us, and there are no words,” said Janet Baugh, a Beauregard resident who found comfort and encouragement in a visit from Major Bradley Caldwell. Major Caldwell made sure to stop by again the next day to check on Janet and make sure she was doing well. Despite the hardships, she seemed to be filled with hope and a sense of purpose and determination to make it through this difficult time.

The Salvation Army helps after disaster strikes by providing not only physical refreshment through serving meals and drinks, but also critical emotional and spiritual nourishment by lending a compassionate ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or sincere prayer for anyone in need. The Salvation Army provided a total of 3,365 meals, 2,396 drinks, 2,723 snacks, and emotional and spiritual care to 221 individuals in response to the devastating Lee County tornadoes.