Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salvation Army Responds to Deadly Tornadoes Across Southern USA

Yesterday evening the southern United States were hammered by devastating storms that moved through the region.  The storms caused more than 130 tornadoes stretching from Mississippi all the way across to Georgia, and as far north as Virginia and Maryland.
One of the hardest hit areas was Alabama as tornadoes ripped through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, before moving on to Georgia and Tennessee.  The Salvation Army facility in Tuscaloosa was destroyed along with the canteen there. More than 270 people have lost their lives due to these storms and that number is expected to rise over the coming days, though miraculously no one from the Army was seriously injured or killed.
Canteens were on the ground last night and as of this morning a large scale response is being mobilized to assist those affected.  Meals are already being served in various communities as volunteers and staff work to try and meet the basic needs of those that have lost everything. 
The following is an excerpt from the most recent article posted on the National EDS Website: .  Follow that site in order to see the most up to date info on the Army’s ongoing response to the tornadoes and other disasters.

Arkansas – An EDS mobile feeding unit has been sent to the Pocahontas area of Randolph County.  The main levee protecting that town from the Black River has broken as of 10:00am today.  Highway 67 between Pocahontas and Walnut Ridge is under water. 
Alabama – Alabama, which was especially hard hit, has seen the death count rise to approximately 180 people.  Salvation Army EDS personnel and mobile feeding units are serving multiple locations throughout the state.  Three mobile feeding crews are serving in Tuscaloosa, two in Guntersville, one in Phil Campbell, one in Marion County, one in Molten, and six in Birmingham.  The Salvation Army Corps and Shelter in Tuscaloosa was destroyed as tornadoes ripped through the area.  
Mississippi – Mobile feeding units are currently serving residents of Kemper County, Webster County, and Oxford.  Additionally information will be shared as reports are made available.
Tennessee – EDS personnel are actively serving residents of Cleveland, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Dyersburg, Greenville, and Memphis.  Additional units are on standby throughout the state ready to respond as needed. 
Cleveland, TN:  EDS staff and more than 100 volunteers have provided approximately 800 meals to first responders and victims through mobile feeding operations.  Additionally, beverages and snacks are being provided to emergency shelter residents at St. Theresa's Catholic Church. 
Chattanooga, TN:  The Salvation Army served throughout the night in Catoosa County, GA where there were a confirmed 30 severe injuries and 7 fatalities.  Mobile kitchen units are currently serving in Walker, Dade, Catoosa, and Hamilton Counties.  The Salvation Army is partnering with the Chattanooga Red Cross and The Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief to meet shelter and food needs of affected residents.
Murfreesboro, TN:  The Salvation Army has deployed its canteen and is currently serving storm damaged areas with emergency food, drink, and clean-up kits.  Reports have been given to The Salvation Army which indicate that more than 150 homes have been affected and that residents face at least 72 hours without electricity. 
Dyersburg, TN:  The community of Southtown in Dyer County has been evacuated to Dyersburg for fear of levee failure.  The Salvation Army will be feeding temporary shelter residents from their soup kitchen in Dyersburg.  Mobile feeding units will serve volunteers who are sand bagging areas in an effort to save homes.
Clarksville, TN:  The Salvation Army in Clarksville had to evacuate their building due to flooding.  Despite this setback, EDS personnel are assessing local flood damage and are prepared to serve as needed.
Greenville, TN:  Stationary and roving feeding units are in place and serving flooded areas. 
Memphis, TN:  The Salvation Army of Memphis has served breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Emergency Operations Center and are providing the above meals to those who are filling sandbags at the Pyramid.  EDS personnel are also on standby to provide mass feeding to potential flood victims. 
Kentucky – Following severe storms yesterday and today, the state of Kentucky faces extensive flood risks.
Paducah, KY:  The Salvation Army of Paducah is providing meals, beverages, and support for the local temporary emergency shelter serving flood evacuees.  Preparations are also being made to support sandbagging efforts. 
Henderson, KY:  The Salvation Army of Henderson is currently assessing potential flood damage.  The town of Reed has been evacuated.  They continue to respond to the tornado that hit Poole, KY.  EDS personnel have been requested to provide assistance in Union County to deliver meals to those sandbagging.  Teams are on standby to provide meals to the local shelter.
Louisville, KY:  The Louisville Salvation Army is on standby to serve should there be any flooding and continues to monitor the rising waters.
Georgia – The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services teams in Georgia are on standby and ready to serve victims, first responders, and volunteers from mobile feeding units in Georgia and Alabama.  In addition to feeding, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and emotional/spiritual care.  Because of recorded deaths and destruction in Catoosa, Floyd and Walker Counties, Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for Georgia.  
The Salvation Army response to disasters is dependent upon the generous support of our donors.  To help support the tornado response you can text “GIVE” to 80888 to give a $10 donation.  You can also give online or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY designating your gift to “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak”.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SA Serves Survivors in Iowa Following Devestating Tornado

(Sioux City, IA, April 11, 2011) The Salvation Army in Siouxland has mobilized two teams of officers, employees and volunteers to assist the devastated cites of Mapleton and Early, Iowa. 

Early on Sunday morning, staff from the Salvation Army Omaha headquarters arrived in Mapleton, Iowa with a mobile feeding canteen. They were joined by volunteers from the Siouxland Salvation Army. On Monday, the Salvation Army served breakfast to residents and relief workers in Mapleton from the mobile canteen site.

In Early, Iowa volunteers arrived on Sunday afternoon and have set up a meal site at the Early City Hall. As of late Sunday afternoon more than 400 sandwiches and many other food items had been distributed. Salvation Army personnel including Larry Schafer, has been taking sandwiches and beverages out to residents in the community as the survey the damage and work on their property.

Captain Linda Vandiver, Siouxland Salvation Army Corps Officer (minister) toured both Early and Mapleton yesterday afternoon and met with local officials. She told official and residents in both communities that “We will be here for you for the long haul. This is just the beginning of recovery and rebuilding. We are here for you and your people, and we want to help you as your communities rebuild from this.”

Salvation Army Soldier Lacey Wilde, reported that she was observing some of the damage in Early, Iowa when a local resident noticed her Salvation Army uniform. She asked if Miss Wilde would pray for her and the town. Miss Wilde commented “it is great that we can be here for the practical things, like food and water, but we are also here to bring hope, and I was glad that I could do that for this lady.”

At the present time, the Salvation Army is not accepting donations of clothes or other items for the victims. The best way to help is a monetary donation. Donations should be marked “tornado relief” and can be sent to PO Box 783, Sioux City, IA  51102.

Salvation Army in Japan Continues to Offer Assistance to People in Need (Update 8 April)

COMMISSIONER Makoto Yoshida, Commander of The Salvation Army's Japan Territory, reports that the country's recovery from a devastating earthquake and tsunami is 'going well', although he says that ongoing problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station continue to cause 'some uneasiness among the people'. He says that everyday goods, including fuel, are becoming easier to obtain and that around 70 percent of roads in the disaster zone have now been reopened.

The commissioner adds that the search for missing people is proving to be difficult. Officials report that 15,000 people are still missing, in addition to the 12,000 people known to have been killed in the disaster. Around 166,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

Inspite of all this, The Salvation Army continues to provide assistance where there is a need.  More than 1,100 meals and other necessities were distributed in Sendai on 23 March. Treats were given to the 83 children who went to the distribution. Power and water have now been restored in Sendai so The Salvation Army is likely to end its distribution there, although it may continue to provide assistance to needy areas north of the city.

The story is similar in Yabuki-cho, where Major Kenji Fujii and Captain Kazuyuki Ishikawa met the mayor, who reported that many houses that look fine from the outside actually suffered significant damage and will have to be demolished. Recently installed water pipelines for agricultural usage were destroyed, leading to the loss of the next rice harvest – a significant part of the area's economy.  The Salvation Army emergency team left goods in storage, to be used as necessary. The community was also given a clear message that The Salvation Army would provide support in the future whenever requested.

At Iwaki-city, which is just outside the 30-kilometer exclusion zone from Fukushima, a team of seven Salvation Army workers distributed 500 hot meals and 6,000 bottles of water in response to a request from the director of the emergency response volunteer desk.

Kesen-numa – about 120 kilometers north of Sendai – was badly damaged by the tsunami. The corps officer (Salvation Army church minister) from Sendai contacted a minister in Kesen-numa and discovered that the community needs support. It has been arranged for two Salvation Army emergency teams to carry out daily distributions of food and other necessities from 12 to 15 April.

Thirty kilometers north-east of Kesen-numa is the coastal community of Rikuzen-Takada, which was badly damaged by the tsunami. A Salvation Army team distributed hot meals and water on 5 April. While there, team members investigated how the Army can offer further assistance.

If you ould like to donated to the ongoing Japanese relief efforts go to to make a donation or give a $10 donation by texting "Japan" to 80888.