Record-Breaking Hurricane Season
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 2020 hurricane season was the most active in recorded history, with a record-breaking 30 named storms. Parts of the Gulf Coast were hit repeatedly, with Louisiana alone being struck by five named storms.
The Salvation Army was ready and prepared to serve, storm after storm. In their daily rounds, The Salvation Army’s canteen crews made a significant difference in the lives of the people they served. More than just the much-needed hot meals and cold drinks they supplied, they also offered hope and consistent help as they made their rounds day after day. The following is one story from our relief efforts in Hurricane Laura’s aftermath in hard-hit Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Lake Charles residents Barbara and Joseph Prater were living in a makeshift room that Joseph boxed in at the back of their severely damaged house. Barbara, a breast cancer survivor, needed to keep cool for her health. Electricity was out in the area for weeks, so they secured a generator and used it to run an air conditioner in the room, which they shared with family members whose homes were also damaged. “We’re sleeping on the floor on mattresses, but we’re so grateful for it because some people don’t have walls at their house,” said Barbara. Sometimes they would all sit in their carport shade to break up the isolation and monotony of the only cool room in the house. “We were just sitting here praying and asking God to send us some angels, and that’s exactly what He did. And here they are, back again today, to bless us,” said Barbara. “That’s what angels do. That’s what The Salvation Army is, it’s a conglomerate of angels,” she added.
The Salvation Army brought hot meals, cold drinks, and snacks that day. The next day, they also delivered the clean-up kits that the Praters had requested. “All I’ve ever known The Salvation Army to do is help people. It’s what they do, and I’m so grateful,” Barbara said.