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Emotional & Spiritual Care Essential Aspect of Tornado Response in Beauregard, AL

Beauregard, AL (March 8, 2019)— An exhaustive search and rescue effort after Sunday’s deadly EF-4 tornado that caused a reported 23 fatalities in Lee County ended on Wednesday, March 4, 2019, and homeowners and volunteer/relief agencies were finally allowed into the hardest-hit area of Beauregard. The Salvation Army is serving meals and providing emotional and spiritual care in Beauregard as crews are diligently working on the massive cleanup effort and homeowners are scouring the wreckage for anything they can save. With total devastation as far as the eye can see, emotions are raw and the emotional and spiritual care component of The Salvation Army’s service fills 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 on Wednesday. Major Caldwell made sure to stop by again on Thursday 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.

Lieutenant Bryan Farrington paused his duties at the canteen (mobile feeding unit) to pray with Shanikia Buchannon, a Beauregard resident whose joy about her upcoming wedding is now laced with concern for her friends and neighbors. “I just thank God that my family was safe, but my heart is hurting for my friends. I have two close friends, even one of my friends who is in my wedding, she lost everything. And the other one lost everything plus a child, so I can only imagine what they’re going through,” Shanikia said. “For Salvation Army to pray for me, it really means a lot. I’m a praying woman and I know prayer changes things,” Shanikia added.

The Salvation Army will continue to serve in Beauregard again today—providing physical refreshment through serving meals and drinks, and emotional and spiritual nourishment by lending a compassionate ear to listen, shoulder to cry on, or sincere prayer for anyone in need. To date, The Salvation Army has provided 1,995 meals, 1,439 drinks, 1,573 snacks, and emotional and spiritual care to 146 individuals in response to the devastaing Lee County tornado.

To donate to The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

Serving Lee County Volunteers

Smiths Station, AL (March 7, 2019)— The Salvation Army continues to be a light of help and hope for those affected by the recent devastating Southeast Alabama tornadoes. On Wednesday, March 6, that help took the form of setting up a canteen (mobile feeding unit) at the Lee County Emergency Management Agency’s Volunteer Reception Center that has been established at Smiths Station Baptist Church. Those wishing to volunteer with the county can drop into the center, receive training and an assignment, and head out to do their volunteer work. The Salvation Army is on hand to provide meals, beverages and snacks to those volunteers, and in many cases, to the people the volunteers are heading out to serve.

“I’m just very grateful the tornado hit half a mile from my home in two different directions. It went over my house. I’m very grateful to the Lord that I didn’t get hurt, and I just want to help those that are,” said Yvette Greene, a county volunteer who loaded up her car with meals from The Salvation Army canteen to share with those already in the field. Another volunteer, Tricia Harm, mother of seven, brought four of her children who are old enough to volunteer to the center on Wednesday, to serve those hurting in their community. Tricia and her teenage children came to The Salvation Army canteen for lunch before heading out to their volunteer assignment. “We are volunteering to help clean up, because it’s our town. We’re a military family, but it’s our town. The kids wanted to help and this is what we can do, so this is what we’ll do,” said Tricia.

The Salvation Army is proud to provide for tornado survivors and those who are volunteering to serve their hurting neighbors. To date, The Salvation Army has provided 1,495 meals, 619 drinks, 1,143 snacks, and emotional and spiritual care to 71 individuals. To donate to tornado relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

Serving Smiths Station Tornado Survivors

Smiths Station, AL (March 6, 2019)— The Salvation Army is serving the Smiths Station community today, where cleanup efforts are well underway in this area that suffered major damage from Sunday’s tornado outbreak. Serving meals, drinks, and snacks from a fixed location at Smiths Station Baptist Church, The Salvation Army will also be offering much needed emotional and spiritual care to tornado survivors.

A Salvation Army mobile feeding unit will also roam the surrounding area, providing similar services. “Today, The Salvation Army’s mission is to provide relief to those who are suffering because of this horrific event in a manner which provides hope for the tomorrows,” said Major Bradley Caldwell, Salvation Army Emotional & Spiritual Care Officer.

To date, The Salvation Army has provided 1,050 meals, 670 snacks, 450 drinks, 20 personal hygiene kits, 25 backpacks, and emotional and spiritual care to 22 individuals in response to the deadly tornado that struck Lee County, AL on Sunday, March 3, 2019. To donate to The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

Incident Command Team Reporting to Opelika, AL for Tornado Recovery

Opelika, AL (March 4, 2019)— After the historic and devastating tornado outbreak that occurred in the Southeast on Sunday, March 3, 2019, The Salvation Army is responding by sending a full Incident Command Team to Opelika, AL. Hardest hit by the outbreak was the mostly rural area of Lee County. Major William Shafer from The Salvation Army Tuscaloosa Corps will arrive today to serve as the Incident Commander. He will be supported by a six member team of Salvation Army representatives from Anniston, Birmingham, Montgomery and Jackson, Mississippi.

In the immediate hours following the storm, The Salvation Army Lee County Service Center provided 200 meals to first responders. Lieutenants Bryan and Tonya Farrington from The Salvation Army Montgomery Corps also deployed to the area Sunday evening with their mobile feeding unit to assist the local Service Extension Center Director. Service delivery will continue throughout Lee County today and include the distribution of hot meals, snacks, and beverages served from six mobile feeding units. Other than Montgomery, the mobile feeding units are deploying into the area from Anniston, Birmingham, and Biloxi, Mississippi.

In addition to tending to the physical needs of those affected, The Salvation Army is providing emotional and spiritual care, which is expected to be a significant need in the wake of this especially cruel and deadly disaster. The National Weather Service reports that  more tornado deaths occurred from this one outbreak than in all of 2018. Please keep the tornado survivors as well as first responders in your prayers. Donations to the tornado relief can be made at helpsalvationarmy.org.

Columbus Tornado Relief All About Community

Columbus, MS (February 28, 2019)— Immediately after an EF-3 tornado struck the small town of Columbus—known as “The Friendly City”—  on Saturday, February 23, 2019, The Salvation Army has been serving and partnering with community groups and businesses to bring as much help as possible to those in need. The Community Benefit Committee, a local volunteer group made up of community leaders in Columbus, approached The Salvation Army early on about working together and a fruitful relationship was born. “The Salvation Army’s values are so close to ours, so who better to work with,” said Rhonda Sanders, Columbus police officer and one of the chief coordinators of The Community Benefit Committee.

Columbus Salvation Army Corps Officer, Lt. Christian Smith, says the partnership has been a blessed experience all around. “We recognize the needs for the community will be ongoing and are grateful for all partnerships and the donations which have been provided thus far. It is heartwarming to see how everyone has come together to serve those who have been affected. It’s pretty much like providing a big group hug,” said Lt. Smith.

To date, The Salvation Army has distributed the following tornado relief items to the Columbus community: 2,480 meals, 2,020 drinks, 820 snacks, 400 comfort/hygiene kits, 160 tarps, 100 blankets, and 200 pillows. To donate to The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org .

Columbus Tornado Service Continues

Columbus, MS tornado damage

Columbus, MS (February 25, 2019)— The Salvation Army of Columbus, Mississippi has been busily serving the community after a tornado ripped through downtown Columbus early Saturday evening, causing one fatality and significant damage. After initially distributing 120 bottles of water and snacks to emergency responders in the hours immediately following the storm, The Salvation Army is now distributing relief items from a community parking lot next to Carter’s Funeral Home, located at 602 14th Street North, Columbus. “We are going to be out and about until everybody’s power is back on, until they’ve gotten a chance to get some new groceries,” said  Lieutenant Christian Smith, Columbus Salvation Army Corps Officer.

On Sunday, The Salvation Army of Columbus distributed 200 kits of relief items including snacks, water and blankets, and partnered with local restaurant, Farmstead, to distribute 50 meals. Today, The Salvation Army will be partnering with local grocery store, Food Giant, to provide hot meals at noon from the Carter’s Funeral Home location, distributing more relief kits, and distributing tarps donated by Lowe’s.

Donations to the relief effort can be made at http://helpsalvationarmy.org.

Columbus Tornado: Serving After The Storm

 

tornado damage house in Columbus, MS

Columbus, MS (February 24, 2019)— The Salvation Army of Columbus, Mississippi distributed water and snacks to emergency responders after a tornado ripped through the town around 5:00 pm Saturday evening. “We gave them enough for their crews and an emergency shelter they were setting up,” said Lt. Christian Smith, Columbus Salvation Army Corps Officer. The snacks and water provided was enough for about 120 people. The storm caused one confirmed fatality and significant damage to the downtown area.

The Salvation Army is continuing to monitor the situation and preparing to respond further as needs are assessed. Bill Feist, Divisional Disaster Liaison for The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division, has a seat representing The Salvation Army at the State Emergency Operations Center in Pearl to learn the extent of the damage and how The Salvation Army can provide further assistance.

Donations to the relief effort can be made at helpsalvationarmy.org .

Salvation Army Teams Return from Carolinas & Prepare for Hurricane Michael

Jackson, MS— With Hurricane Michael churning in the Gulf Coast and expected to make landfall in the Florida panhandle today as a major Category 4 hurricane, Salvation Army emergency response teams throughout the southeastern United States are readying to respond. The last of The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division teams headed home yesterday from Hurricane Florence service in the Carolinas—just in time to prepare for this new threat posed by Hurricane Michael. The ALM Division is sendng a full Incident Management Team to Pensacola, Florida, which will cover the Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach areas. The Salvation Army in ALM is also preparing to respond as needed in Coastal Alabama, which is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning/Hurricane Watch and even Coastal Mississippi, which is currently under a Tropical Storm Watch. “The path of this storm is still somewhat unpredictable, so we will posture ourselves for response as necessary,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army ALM Division.

The Salvation Army’s Dothan, Alabama Corps is already serving those impacted by the storm. Three evacuee shelters opened in Dothan yesterday, serving evacuees from the Florida panhandle. The Salvation Army served dinner last night and will serve all three meals today to the shelter residents. The remaining Salvation Army locations along the Gulf Coast are bracing for possible flooding and, along with the rest of the ALM Division, are watching, waiting, and preparing to serve as needed.

To support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Michael relief efforts, visit www.HelpSalvationArmy.org.

 

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi Teams Head East as Florence Nears


Jackson, MS—The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division has sent seventeen people and five mobile feeding units to serve in Hurricane Florence relief efforts. These teams began deploying yesterday to stage in Charlotte, North Carolina to respond immediately after landfall. The ALM Division is also currently assembling and notifying additional personnel to serve as an Incident Command Team (ICT) and two additional mobile feeding units that will be deployed post landfall Friday–Sunday.

As Hurricane Florence prepares to make landfall, Terry Lightheart, Director of Emergency Disaster Services states, “The ALM Division of The Salvation Army continues to participate in daily coordination calls with its counterparts in the North & South Carolina Division (NSC) to determine gaps and unmet needs for the area. This storm is slated to be a catastrophic event which will likely overwhelm local resources and require several months of service. We are all partners in the effort to provide disaster relief to those in need and will continue to provide personnel and equipment, such as mobile feeding units to NSC, for as long as needed.”

The Salvation Army helps after a disaster by providing food, drinks, shelter, emotional and spiritual care, and more to meet the needs of those affected by disaster. We are able to do this because of the generous donations we receive from the public. A financial contribution is the best way to help after a disaster and The Salvation Army uses 100% of all disaster donations in response to that disaster. To give to The Salvation Army’s relief efforts for Hurricane Florence, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

The Salvation Army Grateful & Remaining Diligent as Gordon Passes

Jackson, MS—The Salvation Army is grateful that the Gulf Coast was spared major damage from Tropical Storm Gordon, which made landfall last night with wind speeds of 70mph just west of the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast border. The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division is continuing to diligently monitor conditions as the system, which is now classified as a Tropical Depression, makes its way through the area. “The National Hurricane Center reports there is still a possibility of some flash flooding and sporadic tornado activity throughout the day, specifically in Alabama. Therefore, we still want to remain weather aware and ready to serve as needed,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army ALM Division.


About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

ALM Prepares for Tropical Storm Gordon

JACKSON, MS  – With Tropical Storm Gordon moving into the Gulf of Mexico, a Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for Coastal Mississippi and the New Orleans Area. The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM) is preparing for the severe weather that Gordon might bring. Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army ALM Division, Terry Lightheart, reports that Divisional Emergency Disaster Services personnel and local Salvation Army representatives in the potentially affected areas are participating in weather briefings with state and local partners.

“Coordination with our local and state partners is vital to our preparedness measures. Especially since it appears that Gordon is expected to produce heavy rainfall of 4-6 inches across the coastal areas of Alabama, southern Mississippi and Louisiana, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches through early Thursday,” said Lightheart. The National Hurricane Center is predicting that these rainfall amounts may cause flash flooding.  There is also the potential of flooding due to storm surge. “Although there is still some uncertainty with this system, out of precaution, all 31 Salvation Army Corps and 18 Service Extension Centers located within the ALM Division are on standby for potential activation. This includes 28 mobile feeding units,” Lightheart said.

Major Ernest Hull, Area Commander for The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans said, “The New Orleans Command is preparing to accept the homeless population into our Center of Hope. As per our agreement with the city of New Orleans we will work to get the homeless off the streets and into shelter. Our canteens stand ready to be deployed if needed.”

On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army’s Pascagoula Canteen, Disaster Truck, and MS Gulf Coast Canteen are all prepared and ready to respond as needed. Major Anita Caldwell, Area Commander for the MS Gulf Coast Salvation Army said, “We have 120 clean-up kits and around 200 survival backpacks.” The MS Gulf Coast Area Command is also prepared to serve as a shelter if needed and they have plans in place for disaster storage and staging for supplies.

The Salvation Army is working with state emergency officials monitoring Tropical Storm Gordon as it moves closer to the coast. The Salvation Army is prepared to provide food, drinks, and emotional and spiritual care to communities affected by the storm in the coming days.

To donate to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.


About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

The Salvation Army Serving in Jacksonville, Alabama Following Severe Weather

jacksonville alabama tornado
March 20, 2018
Jon Kalahar | jon.kalahar@uss.salvationarmy.org


Jacksonville, AL – A line of severe storms moved across northern Mississippi and Alabama dropping large hail and spinning up several tornadoes Monday evening. The most extensive damage is in Calhoun County, Alabama where Jacksonville State University received a direct hit.

The Anniston Corps of The Salvation Army has been called to feed lunch and dinner Tuesday for 300 first responders at the Jacksonville Public Safety Complex. The Corps will also provide service delivery to volunteers responding to the area, as requested. The Anniston Corps mobile feeding unit will be supported by 3 additional mobile feeding units from Birmingham and Gadsden. Other resources throughout Alabama are on standby to provide support as needed.

“There are several buildings with roofs ripped right off,” said Major Eric Roberts, Anniston Corps Officer. “It breaks your heart knowing what these folks are going through, but we are here to offer a little bit of hope and a hot meal.”

Major Roberts and Salvation Army staff are also trained to offer emotional and spiritual care to residents who may have lost their homes and simply need to pray with or talk to someone.

“We want them to know they are not alone in this. They can always come to us for help.” said Major Roberts.

Other Salvation Army local units in northeast Alabama are continuing to assess service delivery needs.

“We are communicating with local and state emergency management officials to determine if there are additional needs in the state.” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “We will provide service wherever it is needed.”


About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go towww.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.