As Hurricane Irene approaches the Southeastern United States as the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season, The Salvation Army is preparing staff, equipment and supplies to serve as needed.
In the southern U.S. alone, the Army has more than 270 emergency response vehicles including canteens (mobile kitchens), shower trailers, field kitchens and additional logistics equipment available.
The Salvation Army will provide food, drinks and spiritual and emotional care to emergency responders and community members should Irene produce severe storms and damage between Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and the greater Washington, DC area.
“With the threat of Hurricane Irene bearing down on the continental U.S., The Salvation Army is taking every precaution necessary to ready equipment and supplies to provide emergency relief services as needed to anyone who may be impacted by the storm,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army.
“The Army has stockpiled warehouse facilities across the southeastern U.S. with food, water and medical supplies for use in a major disaster.”
While the forecast keeps the eye of the storm off the eastern coast of Florida and into North and South Carolina, there is a significant possibility that as it moves north, Hurricane Irene will produce severe storms with the potential for flooding and numerous tornado warnings.
The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchens are strategically placed around Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia/Maryland to support a response along the east coast. If Irene passes without significant damage in Florida, the units will be available to support neighboring states.
“Personnel from the southern tip of Florida through the Carolinas are monitoring Irene’s path closely and will be ready to respond to the needs of individuals before and after the storm,” said Major Hood. “But as the storm approaches, we encourage residents throughout the potentially impacted states to prepare themselves and be safe.”
The Salvation Army is asking residents of the entire east coast from Florida to the Carolinas and on, to be prepared with an emergency disaster plan. Critical decisions need to be made ahead of time, before the storm makes landfall.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Irene, please visit http://www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusa or www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.