Aug. 31, 2016 (Panama City, Fla) – Salvation Army units in the Florida Panhandle are preparing and on stand-by ready to help residents impacted by Tropical Storm Hermine.
“Salvation Army canteens are stocked with water and supplies,” said Major Otis Childs, administrator for The Salvation Army in Panama City.
The Salvation Army is also working closely with county emergency management officials. As county officials assess the needs, The Salvation Army will follow. Traditionally, The Salvation Army is tasked to serve and prepare meals off its mobile canteen (or kitchen on wheels), help distribute cleaning supplies and offer comfort to those impacted.
“The Salvation Army is a vital part of the Panama City community,” Childs said. “As we prepare for the storm, we also pray for people to stay safe.”
On Wednesday, August 31, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in every county within the State of Florida in preparation for the storm.
The Salvation Army in Florida began its preparations for Hermine on Thursday (August 25) when it held a state wide coordination conference call. The Salvation Army also coordinates year round disaster volunteer training throughout the state.
The Salvation Army in Panama City has a need for trained disaster volunteers. To learn how you can volunteer go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
“Training our volunteers in disaster preparedness and service is in the DNA of The Salvation Army” Childs said.
In times of disaster, The Salvation Army works with its partners at the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate relief efforts for the impacted area. The Salvation Army of Florida has 32 mobile food trucks, or kitchen on wheels, ready to respond throughout the state. Along with its canteens, The Salvation Army also has two field kitchens (large 18-wheeler trucks retrofitted for cooking and mass feeding), one command and communication unit and five shower trucks which have already been deployed this month assisting flood survivors in Louisiana.
In the United States, The Salvation Army began its Emergency Disaster Services ministry during the 1900 Galveston hurricane. The ministry continues to grow and is a vital part of every Salvation Army unit in the country. Today, The Salvation Army utilizes mobile canteens to cook and distribute food to residents in need in the aftermath of a disaster such as a hurricane.
The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the need continues to be assessed.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
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