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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.

Birmingham Salvation Army Serving After Tornado from Remnants of Cindy

storm preparedBirmingham, AL – The Birmingham, Alabama Command of The Salvation Army will serve meals Thursday evening after a tornado tore through several communities in and around Birmingham. This comes as Emergency Disaster Services officials warned residents of the threat of flooding and tornadoes after Cindy was downgraded early Thursday to a tropical depression.

“Emergency officials asked us to serve meals and drinks in Fairfield and at the local EMA center following this storm,” said Major Roger Glick, Commanding Officer, Birmingham Area Command. “We will also provide emotional and spiritual care to those who need someone to talk to, a prayer, or even just a hug.”

The Birmingham Area Command will provide meals and drinks to the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center and to a mobile command center closer to where the tornado touched down in the city of Fairfield. Disaster workers will be on site until 10pm Thursday night.

“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 Division 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 the impact of Cindy 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.”

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 ready if needed with tropical storm heading for the Gulf Coast

JACKSON, MS (June 20, 2017) – The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi is preparing for the potential impact of Invest 93L along the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) of The Salvation Army has asked all 31 Corps and sixteen service centers across the three-state area to ready equipment and disaster personnel for deployment should the need arise.
“The first priority for The Salvation Army is to ensure its Officers, staff and volunteers are safe and that the facilities and equipment are secure,” said Terry Lightheart, EDS Director, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “However, we are also ready to respond and provide support to those who will potentially be impacted from this storm.
The Salvation Army is working closely with state and local emergency management to monitor where the storm could possibly have the greatest impact. This also helps coordinate where to send out personnel and equipment, such mobile feeding units which provide hot meals, hydration and snacks.
Lightheart continued, “Regardless of where the impact my be, we will be ready to serve with helping hands and a willing heart.”

To keep up to date on all The Salvation Army is doing to help those in need and to donate to help us serve those in need, you can log onto our website at salvationarmyalm.org or on social media at facebook.com/ALMdivision and twitter.com/salarmyalm

Disaster Services Director, Liason recognized for accomplishment

Our Emergency Disaster Services Director, Terry Lightheart and Disaster Liason, Bill Feist recognized as Certified Emergency Managers. Two of just a handful in The Southern Territory of The Salvation Army.

Terry and Bill have been approved by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certification Commission to receive the Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) credential.

The CEM® designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from IAEM, which has in its membership more than 9,000 emergency managers representing professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters.  Ms. Lightheart qualified as a CEM® by submitting an extensive credentials package giving personal and professional background achievements and successfully completing a Management Essay and a written examination.

Congratulations Terry and Bill!

Corps Buildings Damaged in Hattiesburg as Division Prepares for More Storms


January 21, 2017
Jon Kalahar | jon.kalahar@uss.salvationarmy.org | (601) 941-7779

Hattiesburg, MS — A tornado cut a destructive path across part of Forrest County, Mississippi early Saturday morning. Nothing in its path was spared, including The Salvation Army, Hattiesburg Corps. Fifteen clients were staying in the emergency shelter when the storm struck.

“You look around this campus at what buildings received the most damage. It’s a mess, but the shelter was mostly spared,” said Captain Patrick Connelly, Hattiesburg Corps Officer.

The Hattiesburg Salvation Army’s campus includes the church, administrative offices, and the Boys and Girls Club including a gym. All had roof damage and water throughout.

“These are just buildings. These are just things. They are not all the Army is. We will continue to do what we do and that is help this community recover,” said Captain Connelly.

The Jackson, Mississippi Corps arrived just in time Saturday with two mobile feeding units to help prepare meals for the local shelter housing 50 residents from the area and ten staff members.

Emergency Disaster Services Director for the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division, Terry Lightheart has stationed three more mobile feeding units on standby. More severe weather is expected tonight.

“Once again the entire Division is on alert as we watch severe weather move across the Southeast, so we want to protect our workers and keep them out of harm’s way. We will know better Sunday exactly how many vehicles and personnel we need to move into action,” said Lightheart.

To help us provide for those in need from Saturday’s storms you can donate through this link: give.salvationarmyusa.org/January_tornado_outbreak 

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Director Receives International Designation

terry-lightheart-business-pic-color-october-2016Terry Lightheart, who serves as the Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Division has been approved by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certification Commission to receive the Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) credential.

The CEM® designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from IAEM, which has in its membership more than 9,000 emergency managers representing professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters.  Ms. Lightheart qualified as a CEM® by submitting an extensive credentials package giving personal and professional background achievements and successfully completing a Management Essay and a written examination.

When asked about receiving the designation, Ms. Lightheart, stated, “As an emergency management professional I am thrilled there are organizations such as IAEM which fosters excellence for its members and the profession as a whole.”

In order to maintain certification, Lightheart must continue a program of professional development over successive five-year periods in the future.  Thus, this is an honor neither easily earned nor maintained.

Terry will receive recognition for this accomplishment on Wednesday evening, October 19, 2016 at an Awards Program held during the IAEM 64th Annual Conference & Exhibit in Savannah, GA.

The new class of CEM®‘s join the 2,550 other emergency managers who were approved for the designation since January, 1993 bringing the total number of Certified Emergency Managers to 2,564.   To see a complete list of current CEM®s please visit the IAEM website – http://www.iaem.com/page.cfm?p=certification/current-cem-aem

The Salvation Army ALM personnel, equipment heading to Florida for expected relief following Hurricane Matthew

hurricane-matthew-2

Salvation Army locations across the Southern United States are preparing for a major relief effort as Hurricane Matthew continues its path towards the Florida coastline. The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM Division) is no different. Thursday the ALM Division is sending six mobile feeding units or canteens and a communications truck to Florida to be in place to support disaster relief operations following the expected landfall of Matthew.

“We have learned from past disasters that communication systems are vital for effective and timely disaster relief efforts,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency, Disaster Services Director. “The mobile  communications unit will provide The Salvation Army with the ability to communicate not only with Salvation Army personnel, but with our partners, externally to ensure we identify the areas most in need.”

The Salvation Army Southern Territory has placed equipment and personnel on standby in fifteen states to support the affected areas. Along with the equipment, the ALM Division is deploying fifteen disaster service personnel and volunteers. More resources are expected to be requested in the coming days.

“This storm has the potential to do major damage.  If that’s the case, The Salvation Army will be there to provide meals, drinks, and emotional and spiritual care for those in need,” said Lightheart.

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation to The Salvation Army. Cash is flexible, can be used immediately in response to a crisis, and allows disaster relief organizations to purchase exactly what is needed, when it’s needed.

To make a financial gift to The Salvation Army, give:

  • Donate Online:http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/hurricane_matthew
  • Donate By Mail:The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301 Please designate ‘Hurricane Matthew’ on all checks.
  • Donate By Phone:1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
  • Donate By Text:Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving

Despite flooding at Baton Rouge Corps, Salvation Army ready to respond

The record rainfall over the last two days in Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi causing roads to be closed and mandatory evacuations in several communities has not spared the Baton Rouge Salvation Army facilities.

“We were able to move all our response vehicles off our property and to high ground, but unfortunately we will not be able to use our facilities to assist those escaping the rising waters,” said Captain Brett Meredith, Baton Rouge Salvation Army Corps Officer.

Captain Meredith says in the local area around the Corps was hit with twenty inches of rain and more is expected through the weekend. Water has entered the buildings on campus.

“We are all shell shocked right now, but I know we have lots of prayers being lifted up for us, so we will make it through,” said Captain Meredith.

Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Divisional Emergency/Disaster Services Director Terry Lightheart is monitoring the situation, but for now, the rising waters around Baton Rouge are forcing resources to be put on hold until safe passage into the affected areas can be assured.

“The interstate and highways in some areas have been closed for now, but as soon as the water recedes, we will have our canteens rolling in to help not just our Corps but those in the community who need help,” said Lightheart.

Canteens from Biloxi, Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, New Orleans, and Alexandria, Louisiana are all on standby and waiting to respond once water levels drop. The Salvation Army does have a disaster liaison working with the Louisiana State Emergency Management Agency monitor the situation.

To help those in these flooded areas across Southeast Louisiana, you can donate by going to http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/gulf_coast_floods.

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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/batonrouge

ALM personnel heading to West Virginia aiding Army’s response to “historic” flood

West Virginia 2The Salvation Army is actively helping survivors of the “historic” flooding in West Virginia, but with more rain expected and so many residents in need, the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM) Division has accepted the request to send our Emergency/Disaster Service Director, Terry Lightheart and Baton Rouge Corps Officer, Captain Brett Meredith to help with The Salvation Army’s response.

“The Salvation Army rallies to those in need,” said Lightheart. “Right now, the greatest need in West Virginia is getting food, shelter, and emotional and spiritual care.  We are working with government agencies, other relief organizations and thousands of volunteers. We have to work together to do all we can to help those affected get back to some normalcy as soon as possible.”

“The flooding has been devastating to the region, and as I prepare to go to the affected area, I pray that The Salvation Army and other organizations can provide comfort, care, and material assistance to those who may have lost everything,” states Captain Meredith.

The flooding began Thursday when nine inches or more of rain fell on parts of West Virginia in six to eight hours. Forty-four counties, primarily in the southeastern part of the state, were under a state of emergency on Thursday night.

In the first 72 hours, The Salvation Army provided more than 6,600 meals, nearly 3,400 snacks, and more 7,500 drinks to flood victims and emergency responders.  These services will continue as long as needed and as requested by West Virginia County Emergency Operation Centers.  As relief efforts continue, The Salvation Army anticipates widespread distribution of cleanup supplies and the initiation of case work after the July 4th holiday.

How people can help:

You can help by providing financial assistance to fund the flood relief work in West Virginia.  Those who wish to support The Salvation Army’s disaster response may do so by sending a check earmarked “June 2016 West Virginia Floods”  to their local Salvation Army office, online at http://tinyurl.com/zu6rn47, or by making a credit card donation at 1-800-SAL-ARMY.  Be sure to designate the donation for the “June 2016 West Virginia Floods.”

Although The Salvation Army is not requesting in-kind goods donations at this time, gifts of gently-used household goods, clothing, etc., are always needed by Salvation Army Family Stores to support their work in the local community. Find out more at SAtruck.org, or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

 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 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 of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi sending aid to areas hit by historic flooding

south carolina supplies 5The Emergency Disaster Services of The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM) is joining in the effort to assist residents in South Carolina hit hardest by severe storms and flooding. South Carolina has received a federal disaster declaration to include 11 counties. The ALM Division is supporting the response and recovery efforts by providing 1400 disaster clean-up kits, 78 insulated food distribution containers (cambros) and 9,000 cambro liners. The semi-truckload of supplies is being shipped to South Carolina from our warehouse located in Jackson.

The insulated food containers will be utilized to support bulk distribution of hot food to affected residents.  The clean-up kits will be distributed to local residents to assist in recovery efforts. A clean-up kit consists of household cleaning supplies such as a broom, mop, bleach, all-purpose cleaner, a pair of cleaning and work gloves, face mask, scrub brush and squeegee mop.

Terry Lightheart, ALM Divisional Emergency Services Director, who is currently deployed as a Salvation Army Liaison at the South Carolina State Emergency Operations Center stated, “Supplies are being provided from ALM to South Carolina through a request from The Salvation Army South Carolina Incident Command. Much work has already taken place. However, there is more to be done to help residents affected from this storm, specifically from devastating flooding.”

As part of the mission of The Salvation Army we provide emergency disaster services and relief to those affected without discrimination in the name of Jesus Christ. Currently, The Salvation Army is providing food, drinks, snacks, clean-up kits and emotional and spiritual care. These services will continue throughout the response and recovery efforts.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the storm to please give through one of four channels.

You can donate online at: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text STORM to 51555.

You can also donate by mailing a check to The Salvation Army, Southern Territorial Headquarters at P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Please label checks “East Coast Floods.”