Posts

The Salvation Army Stands Ready to Respond to Gordon

Jackson, MS— The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division stands ready to respond to Tropical Storm Gordon, which is predicted to turn into a minimal hurricane before making landfall tonight along the north-central Gulf Coast. This weather event is expected to impact all three states in the ALM Division, with the areas of most concern being Mobile, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and New Orleans. All Salvation Army ALM units remain on standby for potential activation to support affected areas as the need arises.

The storm is expected to make landfall in Hancock County, Mississippi. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and MEMA Director Greg Michel will be holding a press conference at Hancock County EMA this afternoon and MS Gulf Coast Area Commanders, Majors Bradley and Anita Caldwell, will be in attendance representing The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army MS Gulf Coast Area Command has all canteens (mobile feeding units) prepared and ready to go out as needed.

Major Tom Richmond, Area Commander for The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama said, “If we get what they’re predicting, we will probably get some flooding on the outer islands, Dauphin Island. So, we’ll wait until the storm passes and then we’ll move our canteens out to that area.”  All Coastal Alabama Salvation Army canteens are prepared and waiting on standby with their crews ready to go. The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama’s homeless shelter and kitchen is opening at 2:00 PM today.

The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans is prepared as well, with all canteens ready and on standby to go wherever they might be needed. The city of New Orleans has shut down operations throughout the city, which means most businesses are closed today. Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter residents are staying in place throughout the day as requested by the city. “The City of New Orleans has requested The Salvation Army to house the homeless and invite these individuals into our shelter for refuge during the storm. We will have the shelter open throughout the day tomorrow as well, we certainly wouldn’t want to put anyone out into the weather,” said Major Ernest Hull, Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans Area Commander. The main concern in New Orleans is the flooding. There are no mandatory evacuations at this time, but there are some voluntary evacuations for those areas outside of the levee system.

According to Bill Feist, Divisional Disaster Liaison for The Salvation Army ALM Division, “The Salvation Army has liaisons at the State Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in Mississippi and Louisiana which both activated at 7:00 AM this morning. Liaisons act as ambassadors for The Salvation Army to State Emergency Management helping both share information with each other.  The Liaisons will remain at the State EOCs working twelve hour shifts until the emergency passes.”

The Salvation Army is continuing to watch as Gordon progresses toward the Gulf Coast and is ready to serve as needed with food, drinks, shelter, and emotional and spiritual support.

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.

Cindy downgraded to tropical depression, The Salvation Army still monitoring need

JACKSON, MS – The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi is still monitoring the needs across our three-state area even as Cindy is downgraded to a tropical depression. To this point, The Salvation Army has received no requests for assistance.

“Cindy is still a threat as it moves northeast across the top of our area,” said Terry Lightheart, EDS Director, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “We know with projected rainfall from this storm more flooding could still be a possibility into the weekend. Many areas of the Divison are also under a tornado watch or warning.”

With Salvation Army Corps located all across the Gulf Coast from Mobile to Biloxi to New Orleans and Lake Charles in Louisiana, officers will stay in close contact with local emergency management officials to make sure all needs are met. Shelters are also open to receive anyone who needs to escape rising flood waters.

“So far flooding has been localized but Divisional disaster relief personnel  and assets remain on standby until remnants of the storm have passed.”said Lightheart. “We would rather be prepared and not be needed than be caught off guard.”

The Salvation Army responding, standing by should weather become serious over the weekend

The Salvation Army is already providing aid to residents affected by a round of severe storms moving across the southern part of our Division and first responders on the scene helping those in need. Salvation Army Officers, Majors Bert and Cristy Lind, with the Laurel, Mississippi Corps have deployed a mobile feeding unit to serve drinks and snacks in Mize, Mississippi.

Thursday afternoon the National Weather Service says an EF-2 tornado touched down near Magee in Simpson County and Mize in Smith County, both Southeast of Jackson, Mississippi. The storm toppled trees and power lines, plus damaged several homes and causing flash flooding.

Other Salvation Army Corps are on standby from Jackson to New Orleans to Mobile with more storms being forecast for this weekend. Currently, the National Weather Service is predicting severe weather throughout the weekend with the potential for more high wind and tornadic activity.

“The entire Division is on alert,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division. “Equipment and personnel are ready to deploy and provide disaster relief services as needed.”

The Salvation Army will coordinate its response with state and local emergency management officials in order to provide for areas with the most need.