–This is a news release issued by our National Headquarters office about Salvation Army operations in relief of Hurricane Sandy–
Alexandria, Virginia (October 30, 2012) â€“ As Hurricane Sandy barreled up the East Coast, leaving mass destruction and power outages in its wake, The Salvation Army prepared for a long-term disaster response and recovery operation. Feeding has already begun at shelters in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and mobile canteen units will deploy to the areas of greatest need as damage is assessed in the coming days. Crews will provide food, hydration, clean-up kits as well as emotional and spiritual care.
In New York City, officials from the Office of Emergency Management have appointed The Salvation Army as the lead agency for the Cityâ€™s Food Access Plan, to coordinate feeding at city shelters. For the next few days The Salvation Army will be serving food at Seward High School in lower Manhattan where 1,000 people are being fed breakfast, lunch and dinner.
â€œItâ€™s clear now that Hurricane Sandy was and continues to be a major and historic storm impacting millions of people,â€ said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the United States. â€œResidents of the impacted areas can rest assured that The Salvation Army will be with them for the long-haul â€“ providing practical, physical and spiritual support at the areas of greatest need.â€
Current Salvation Army activities in other impacted areas include:
In New Jersey:
–The Salvation Army is serving meals, snacks and drinks to hundreds of evacuees at 11 shelters in five counties.
–While serving meals at a shelter in Union Beach, a Salvation Army canteen and a volunteer vehicle were flooded when waters rose unexpectedly. Despite the loss of these vehicles Salvation Army volunteers continued to serve meals to both displaced residents and first responders.
–Local senior citizens found refuge from Hurricane Sandy at The Salvation Army building in Red Bank.
–In Montclair, The Salvation Army is operating a â€œchargingâ€ center for members of the community needing to charge their phones, computers, or other electronic devices.
–A canteen is embedded with Task Force 1, the State’s official search and rescue team.
Elsewhere in New York:
–The Salvation Army provided food and shelter assistance at two locations in Albany as Sandy impacted that area last night.
–On Long Island, The Salvation Army is assisting the American Red Cross with redistribution of supplies to eight shelters.
–The Salvation Army is serving approximately 1,000 meals per day in nine shelters throughout the Philadelphia area.
–In Lehigh Valley and West Chester, the Army is providing meals at three shelters.
In Stamford, CT:
–The Salvation Army has served more than 400 meals and will serve 650 dinners tonight using supplies collected for this yearâ€™s Thanksgiving meal.
The Salvation Army maintains a fleet of disaster vehicles and supply warehouses across the United States to enable speedy mobilization. There are more than 300 emergency response vehicles in the eastern and southern United States alone and nearly 600 units nationwide.
In addition to food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care, The Salvation Army is also prepared to provide:
â€¢ Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
â€¢ Hygiene kits
â€¢ Shower units
â€¢ First-aid supplies
â€¢ Communications support
Pastoral care is available for all those impacted, but is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance. The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the stormâ€™s path to stay informed of and heed all warnings and evacuation orders. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each member of your family as well as flashlights, medication and battery powered radios.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this disaster to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, â€œYes.â€*
At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825). Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate â€œ2012 Hurricane Seasonâ€ on all checks.
For more information on The Salvation Armyâ€™s preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy, please visit our national blog site, our national Facebook page, or follow The Salvation Army US on Twitter.