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Salvation Army Actively Serving/Preparing in New Orleans & Baton Rouge Over Weekend

The Salvation Army’s preparations for Tropical Storm Barry have been in full swing over the weekend, as staff and volunteers worked hard to get ready for the impact of the storm. Barry made landfall as a hurricane early Saturday afternoon near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, and quickly weakened back to tropical storm status. It’s still too early to breathe a collective sigh of relief, however, as the storm system is moving very slowly there is still the possibility of severe flooding. Tropical Storm Barry could potentially dump a tremendous amount of rain on already strained waterways. The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division stands ready and prepared to serve as needed, with the bulk of activity so far being in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Terry Lightheart, the ALM Division Emergency Disaster Services Director stated, “Preparedness and partnerships are key to an effective disaster relief response and recovery. The Salvation Army seeks to “Do the Most Good” which includes providing much-needed resources to the communities where we serve in a time of need.”

Beginning on Friday, The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans has been serving three meals a day from their mobile feeding unit (canteen) to local Department of Transportation employees who are stationed at Baby Cakes Field to inspect a fleet of buses on standby for evacuations. Lunch on Friday included sandwiches donated by Subway. The Salvation Army New Orleans Area Command also spent much of the day preparing their Center of Hope shelter for an expected increase of shelter residents as a result of the storm. Employees unloaded pallets of drinks donated by PepsiCo and moved them, along with water and other supplies, to the fourth floor of the shelter to prepare for the possibility of flooding.

The Baton Rouge Corps of The Salvation Army has also been busy in the community and at their shelter, taking full advantage of the lead-time that an event like this gives for preparation. “The good thing about hurricanes is you know they’re coming. You do get to prepare at least,” said Major Donald Tekautz, Baton Rouge Salvation Army Corps Officer. At the request of the Cajun Navy on Thursday, the Baton Rouge Salvation Army provided hydration at one of the main sandbagging locations in town. They also helped to fill sandbags and even sent Salvation Army volunteers to drop off sandbags to elderly residents who otherwise would not have been able to get them. The Baton Rouge Corps continued to help with sandbagging efforts on Friday and Saturday. The Salvation Army shelter in Baton Rouge was also a hub of storm prep over the weekend, with employees stocking the warehouse with disaster relief items such as bottled water, clean up kits, cots, and personal hygiene kits. Extra food was also put in place in the shelter kitchen in anticipation of a storm-related surge in shelter occupancy.

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.

“God’s going to see us through every bit of this.”

All across the country, Salvation Army officers are slowly beginning to find their footing at new appointments. Majors Ernest (Ernie) and Debra (Debbie) Hull are no different. The Hulls spent the first seventeen years of their officerships in the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division. There they became friends and served under the current ALM Divisional Commanders, Majors Steve and Wendy Morris.

“We are known for getting corps out of debt, so they send us where corps are in debt,” Major Ernie Hull says with a smile.

Their current challenge is bigger than any they’ve faced before in every aspect…bigger city, bigger operation, bigger bills to pay. The Hulls are now leading the New Orleans Area Command. While a bigger challenge, the approach will be the same for the Hulls.

“Everywhere we go we love the community, it becomes our home,” said Major Ernie. “By bettering The Salvation Army, we will better the community at large.”

It’s definitely a team approach. Major Debbie focuses on the finances, and Major Ernie focuses on outreach.

“We’ve learned the goal is to live within our means, streamline the operation,” said Major Ernie. “Get me in front of influential people and we’ll give them the story of the Army. We are going to touch their hearts in order to make the New Orleans Area Command the most efficient command in this Division.”

Major Ernie is also very humbled to now lead the command where his friend, Major Richard Brittle, gave his life helping survivors following Hurricane Katrina.

“I was prepared, but I was humbled walking into the Richard Brittle Center of Hope, knowing my good friend gave his life to save this place. I’m just humbled to carry on a legacy of love he had here.”

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 serving in 3 locations following tornado outbreak across the South

new orleans tornado canteen

Disaster units in New Orleans, Livingston Parish, LA and Slocumb, AL

Jackson, MS (February 8, 2017) – Severe weather moving across the southern United States dropped multiple tornadoes Tuesday. The Salvation Army has responded with canteens or mobile feeding units to help serve those in need as well as first responders on scene to help.

In Louisiana, six parishes received damage from multiple tornadoes. Roofs where ripped off buildings, structures destroyed, trees toppled over roadways but thankfully no deaths.

The New Orleans area saw the most destructive of the storms. The Salvation Army’s New Orleans Command responded to Chef Menteur Highway and Wilson Road where disaster workers began food service.

“We served 112 meals and 266 drinks from our location, and we plan to help as long as people are in need and are recovery from these storms,” said Major David Worthy, Commanding Officer, The Salvation Army, New Orleans Command.

The Baton Rouge Salvation Army dispatched a canteen to Watson, Louisiana in Livingston Parish where workers served almost one hundred meals and drinks.

“This is difficult work for the first responders and a difficult time for those whose homes have been affected. We are grateful to be able to serve them,” said Captain Brett Meredith, Corps Officer, Baton Rouge Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army also has officers and trained employees on location to provide emotional and spiritual care to any residents and rescue workers who might need someone to talk to or allow us to pray with them.

“Our hearts go out to those who have been touched by Tuesday’s events, and we pray the work of The Salvation Army may ease the burden these folks are feeling during these times,” said Captain Meredith.

A tornado also touched down in Houston County, Alabama near Slocumb, Alabama Tuesday evening.  Alabama emergency officials report power outages, trees down over the roads, and several buildings damaged. The Salvation Army canteen from the Dothan Corps is serving in that location.

How People Can Help
The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation.

  • Donate By Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate ‘February Gulf Coast Tornadoes’ on all checks
  • Donate By Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)

The Salvation Army meeting need after tornado outbreak in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA (February 7, 2017) – The Salvation Army is already serving in one of the hardest hit areas near New Orleans as storms dropped several tornados around noon Tuesday. A canteen (mobile feeding unit) was dispatched to Chef Menteur Highway and Wilson Road in New Orleans to serve food, drinks and snacks to residents affected by the severe weather, but also to many first responders on the ground.
“We want to be there to help and serve those who are aiding residents who potentially lost everything in this storm,” said Major David Worthy, Commanding Officer, The Salvation Army New Orleans Area Command.

Disaster workers are also assessing damage in other areas of South Louisiana to see if further mobile feeding units will be needed. Currently, six parishes in the state received damage.

“We will also continue to monitor these storms as they move east through Mississippi and Alabama,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency/Disaster Services Director, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. “The potential is there for more severe weather.”

How People Can Help
The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation.
· Donate Online: http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/february_gulf_coast_tornados
· Donate By Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate ‘February Gulf Coast Tornadoes’ on all checks
· Donate By Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)

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.

The Salvation Army Activates Three More Local Corps To Help Meet The Needs Of Flood Survivors In MS And LA

March 12, 2016 – 7:13 PM EST
Jon Kalahar
jon.kalahar@uss.salvationarmy.org
(601) 941-7779


serving flood survivorsJACKSON, MS (March 12, 2016) –The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi has increased the number of Salvation Army Corps serving in areas affected by flooding from five to eight because of local needs to the rising flood waters.
Two Corps located in Mississippi and one in New Orleans mobilized today to support disaster response and relief efforts in Hattiesburg (MS), Tangipahoa Parish (LA), and St. Tammany Parish (LA). The Corps are based out of McComb and Hattiesburg, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana.

The McComb (MS) Corps has served 315 snacks and 200 drinks at a shelter located at Eagle Crest Church in the town of Ticfaw, La. (Tangipahoa Parish). “Although we are based in Mississippi the parish is in our service area.” said Captain Andy Bailey, McComb Corps officer. “We are pleased with the partnership that exists in this community allowing the opportunity to provide disaster relief to citizens now and in the future.”

Relief efforts continue to be provided by the Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport and Monroe Corps in devastated areas of Louisiana. Staff and volunteers are serving meals and drinks to those who are displaced from flood waters and first responders helping keep the public safe.

The Monroe Salvation Army served 300 meals so far Saturday not to mention drinks and clean up kits, plus provided emotional and spiritual care to those who requested it.

In Shreveport, The Salvation Army opened a donation center at 200 East Stoner to accept monetary donations, but also donations of socks, cleaning supplies, diapers, packaged snacks, Gatorade, blankets, linens, and towels.

“Monetary donations are always eagerly accepted, especially in emergency situations,” said Major Ed Binnix, Shreveport Corps Commander, “The monetary donations allow us to stimulate the local economy which has been impacted by the disaster and enable us to purchase what we need when we need it.”

In Mississippi, the Greenville Corps continues to provide meals and hydration to a shelter located at the Washington County Convention Center. The Jackson MS Corps  continues to provide four volunteers, and two mobile canteens to support disaster relief efforts in Monroe, Louisiana.

The Salvation Army in several other locations is also on standby due to National Weather Service concern with current river stages and the affect the flooding could have in the future.

“We are ready to respond should flooding expand to other areas,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency/Disaster Services Director, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi. “This is a threat that could last for several more days.”

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by these storms to please give monetarily through this link: http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/march2016floods

Salvation Army disaster services are free. All people are served equally, without discrimination.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyalm.org.

The Salvation Army Responds As Storms Wreak Havoc Across Gulf States

(story originally posted by Thad Hicks on disaster.salvationarmyusa.org)

Jackson, MS (April 28, 2015) – The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi has responded to four separate emergency situations across the division due to severe weather.

The storms affected residents near Dothan, Alabama, in the small community of Columbia, several families are displaced due to storms Saturday. Majors George and Patty Price, along with employees and volunteers, started by serving dinner out of a local gymnasium. Their operation has since expanded to serving lunch and dinner. The Dothan Corps is also providing drinks and ice for the nearly 800 homes that lost power.

“This is what we do,” said Major George Price. “The need was there and we simply stepped in to help.”
On the Alabama Gulf Coast, a sudden storm with high winds caused an annual boat regatta to end in tragedy Saturday evening just off Dauphin Island near Mobile, Alabama.  The storm capsized several boats leading to at least two deaths. The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama responded to help serve food, drinks and snacks to local law enforcement and Coast Guard officials who are searching the Mobile Bay for missing boaters.  To reach searchers, The Salvation Army loaded a Mobile County Sheriff’s Office boat with food and drinks to take out to the law enforcement agencies.

“It’s just one less thing they have to worry about,” Patricia Finkbohner, Salvation Army director of development and community services, said. “They didn’t want to come in and take a break, they really wanted to stay out and search.”

The Salvation Army is also providing emotional and spiritual care to family members who are waiting for their loved ones to be found.

Rough weather Monday led to a possible tornado touchdown near Baton Rouge. Power was knocked out to several thousand residents in and around the area. The Baton Rouge Corps responded with a canteen to one of the hardest hit areas in Killian, Louisiana and passed out food bags.  “Many folks are without power and may not have been prepared for this storm,” said Captain Brett Meredith, Commanding Officer, The Salvation Army of Baton Rouge. “The Salvation Army will be there to meet these immediate needs, and we will be there as long as residents need our help.”

The same storm to blow through Baton Rouge also caused wind damage and flooding in New Orleans. At the New Orleans Area Command, the Center of Hope lost power. So, Major David Worthy and the overnight staff manned their crisis stations at the facility throughout the night to make sure the residents stayedsafe and secure.

“We used our disaster canteen truck to power fans and portable lights to shed a little light and move a little air around to keep things more bearable,” said Major Worthy.
Power has since been restored to the Center of Hope in New Orleans.


The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children.  82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.