ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The Salvation Army has activated its Emergency Disaster Services personnel to meet the immediate needs of survivors and first responders affected by a stream of tornados.
A strong and deadly storm system crossed six states — Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Mississippi on Friday evening that left heavy destruction and a rising death toll in its wake. With a presence in every ZIP code in the country, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to respond with a clear understanding of each impacted area’s needs.
“In the aftermath of sudden and extreme natural disasters such as these, The Salvation Army is able to respond quickly to the most affected communities,” said Jeff Jellets, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army’s USA Southern Territory. “Those who experience such sudden tragedy are faced with extreme physical and emotional challenges. We are dedicated to providing essential services such as food, water, shelter, and emotional and spiritual care for survivors and first responders for as long as we are needed.”
The Salvation Army’s disaster response is in addition to ongoing holiday support — typically providing Christmas assistance to more than 2.5 million individuals, and an ongoing response to the pandemic — serving more than 275 million meals and providing over $200 million in financial assistance since March 2020. As The Salvation Army ramps up disaster response efforts, several steps have already been taken to assist those affected:
- Mobile feeding units are being prepared for deployment to serve food, drinks, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders.
- Each mobile feeding unit can serve 500 to 1,500 meals per day.
- Incident Command Centers are being established in affected areas.
- The Salvation Army has partnered with the Arkansas Baptists to establish a kitchen in Black Oak, Arkansas, beginning today.
In addition, The Salvation Army disaster response personnel are collaborating with federal, state, and local emergency management agencies and other partners to monitor the impacts and adapt response efforts as needed.
In light of the pandemic, The Salvation Army has adapted services to include contactless, drive-through, walk-up, and delivery of food and other needed supplies, as well as applied social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements everywhere.
To make a financial gift to support ongoing disaster relief efforts:
- Donate online: helpsalvationarmy.org
- Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at over 7,000 centers of operation around the country.
For more information on the Salvation Army, click here.