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How YOU Can Respond to Disaster In Your Community

DID YOU KNOW??

The Salvation Army offers Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) training to its Officers, staff and volunteers?

In efforts to be best prepared for any type of natural disaster or emergency crisis, The Salvation Army offers an EDS training several times through-out the year for anyone that wishes to serve alongside The Salvation Army in the case of a disaster.

Once trained, the EDS trainers will assess your strengths and suggest a position that best suits you based on the 9 Key Function Components.

Every incident or disaster event has certain major management activities or actions that must be performed. Even if the disaster is small, and only one or two people are involved, these activities will always apply to some degree.

These actions performed are broken down into 9 Key Function Components:

  1. Incident Command: Sets objectives and priorities; has overall responsibility for supervising the incident or event.
  2. Public Information: Communicates with media and others seeking information about the disaster operation.
  3. Liaison: Serves as The Salvation Army’s point-of-contact with other disaster relief agencies.
  4. Safety: Ensures the safety and security of all disaster personnel.
  5. Emotional and Spiritual Care: Provides emotional and spiritual support to those affected by the disaster.
  6. Operations: Manages all direct service activities.
  7. Logistics: Secures and manages the resources, including supplies and equipment necessary to support the operation.
  8. Finance & Administration: Manages records and reports, personnel and volunteers, and accounting for the operation.
  9. Planning: Develops an action plan to accomplish operational objectives, collects and evaluates information.

These Key Functions are effective regardless of the size, type or complexity of the event. Once you are assigned your position, you can volunteer to ‘deploy’ (a term you learn in your Introduction to EDS training) for any local or major disaster.

Our EDS staff keeps you up-to-date on any type of disaster locally, state-wide and nationally. They have their own monitoring systems and work closely with weather and news experts to give you the most warning and information when disaster strikes.

Disaster is not always predictable and often comes without enough warning or any warning at all. While families live comfortably in their daily lives, The Salvation Army’s EDS team works day in and day out to ensure they are best prepared for any disaster crisis that may occur in any of our local communities across our division.

When you become a part of the EDS team, you become a part of a bigger mission and learn to serve others beyond circumstance.

To learn more, or become a Salvation Army EDS team member, visit:

https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Ian’s Historic Impact

Days before Hurricane Ian hit Florida, The Salvation Army prepared resources and personnel to meet the immediate needs of survivors and first responders ahead of the catastrophic storm. Ian came right after Hurricane Fiona ravaged Puerto Rico, where The Salvation Army is still serving survivors and first responders.

Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm the night of Wednesday, Sept. 28, on the west coast of Florida. This storm marks the first direct impact of a hurricane in the area since 1921. When the entire state of Florida was declared under a state of emergency and about one million residents began to evacuate ahead of landfall, The Salvation Army positioned resources and personnel to respond to widespread needs as efficiently as possible.

The Salvation Army had dozens of mobile feed units from across its Southern Territory stationed in Florida and ready to serve immediately following the storm. Each of these units can feed up to 1,500 people a day. The Salvation Army began serving the evacuees that have stationed themselves in shelters, which is predicted to be one million people prior to the storms impact. Two major warehouses in Tampa and McDonough were prepared with food, water, cleaning supplies and hygiene products.

Once the storm hit Florida, it was a waiting game until its passing. With waves as high as 16 ft., heavy storm surges that lead to massive flooding, 2.6 million power outages, tornado threats and structural damage, the need is everywhere across Florida. “It felt like a 7-hour tornado,” says one Salvation Army Emergency Disaster personnel.

With roughly 11 million residents of Florida affected, The Salvation Army is prepared to serve in Florida for weeks and possibly months to come. Our Emergency Disaster Team is stationed in Florida currently in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers with more than half a dozen more disaster teams readied to deploy and an IMAT team on stand-by.

The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM), will continue to serve and help where there is need. Currently, ALM has four teams on the ground in Florida and has sent a bunkhouse and Vehicle Response Unit to be used. The greatest need the division is requesting are Infant Kits and Cleaning Kits. To support the division’s efforts during this devasting time for Florida or to learn more about how to donate to disaster relief, visit: www.HelpSalvationArmy.org or text:                      1-800-725-2769.

 

One-hundred percent of designated disaster donations go to direct services for survivors and first responders.

 

The Salvation Army Across Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Activates Response to Dangerous Heat Conditions

Throughout Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, a region all too familiar with natural disasters, heat is among the deadliest. And those in poverty are among the greatest at risk of succumbing to heat-related illnesses.

When temperatures rise to deadly digits and heat advisories are issued across the country, many of our neighbors won’t have ready access to air-conditioned shelter or protection from the dangerous heat conditions. When heat advisories are issued, our most vulnerable won’t have access to cool water, transportation for medical assistance, a support system for help, or even a device to make an emergency call to 911.

 

“Exposure to extreme heat threatens the well-being of some of our most vulnerable neighbors,” says Captain Heather Dolby, Salvation Army Officer of Tupelo. “Not only individuals and families experiencing homelessness but also those without the ability to cool the internal temperatures of their homes – seniors, the disabled, and families with young children. This is a crisis, and The Salvation Army is here to help.”

 

The Salvation Army across Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi is responding by activating heat relief measures to help those in need. This includes providing hydration and shelter for our at-risk neighbors, senior citizens, and other vulnerable populations in danger of suffering from heat stroke and other heat-related conditions.

“The Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge stands ready to be the hands and feet of Jesus. You may never know what heat relief and a bottle of water can do for someone in need,” said Captain Brian Hicks.

Below are a few examples of how The Salvation Army is extending services and hours to help those who need it the most.

 Tupelo, MS

The Salvation Army of Northeast Mississippi has opened its Community Center as a cooling station to provide air-conditioned seating, a children’s play space, cold water, lunch and dinner, and emotional and spiritual care. And after hours, when the Community Center is closed, water and air-conditioned seating are available next door at the Red Shield Lodge.

In addition, we have partnered with Alabaster Bag Ministry to distribute water through the Community Center and Red Shield Lodge.

Monroe, LA

The Salvation Army of Monroe provides a cooling shelter with air-conditioned facilities and cold water as long as temperatures remain at dangerous levels.

 Baton Rouge, LA

The Salvation Army of Baton Rouge will open its Center of Hope early on days with a dangerous heat index and issue a free stay with meals included to anyone who signs into the facility. In addition, we are coordinating efforts with other community organizations to ensure heat relief needs are met.

Dekalb County and Jackson County, AL

Dekalb County and Jackson County Service Center provide food in pop-top containers, water, and air-conditioned relief for the community. We are working with local organizations, taking referrals, and using Facebook to spread the word.

Selma Service Center, AL

Selma Service Center and the Demopolis Satellite are working with a donor to purchase and distribute fans to those in need in the community.

Thomasville Service Center, AL

Thomasville Service Center is currently assisting with paying power bills through an awarded grant. Eligibility is income-based and by appointment only. Clients can call the Thomasville location to make an appointment at (334) 636-9840.

 

 “If I wouldn’t want to be outdoors in these conditions, why would I expect someone else to be out there?” says Captain Jerry Casey, Monroe Corps Officer. “I don’t want people passing out or getting sick.”

 

Please help us continue to support our neighbors by making a financial contribution, which allows The Salvation Army to meet immediate and long-term needs. To learn more about your local Salvation Army’s services, visit here.

To learn more about staying safe in extreme heat, click here.

Happy National Donut Day!

Salvation Army “Doughnut Lassies” during World War I

National Donut Day started in 1938 in Chicago as a tribute to The Salvation Army “Doughnut Lassies” who supported our troops during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.

After discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two volunteers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.

 

The Origination of Doughboys

 

Nicknamed “Donut Lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “Doughboys”) returned home from war. During WWI, Donut Lassies served coffee and donuts to soldiers in the trenches. Salvation Army workers supported our soldiers with spiritual and emotional aid and were a welcoming connection with home and family.

Celebrate National Donut Day by trying out the recipe below!

A RECIPE FROM THE FRONT LINES

INGREDIENTS
2 large eggs
5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 cup milk
1 tup lard*
*because it is no longer 1917, you can choose healthier options like butter or vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.

Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick.

Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the donuts gradually. Turn the donuts slowly several times.

When browned, remove donuts and allow excess fat to drip off.

Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy!