Tallahassee, FL (September 2, 2016) – The Salvation Army of Florida is once again being asked to assist panhandle residents who have been affected by Hurricane Hermine, the first hurricane to strike the Florida coast in more than a decade.
The Salvation Army is deploying 13 of its mobile kitchens (or kitchen on wheels) to the impacted areas from Cedar Key to Tallahassee. The Salvation Army is hosting two staging areas – one in Ocala for flooding west of Marion County and one in Tallahassee for areas affected in Leon County and surrounding areas.
To meet the needs throughout the state, The Salvation Army is deploying its mobile kitchens from the following communities: Tampa, Orlando, Sanford, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Pensacola, Clearwater, Pasco, Leesburg, Ocala, St. Augustine and Tallahassee. These specialized mobile kitchens can feed up to 1,500 meals a day. Along with the mobile kitchens, The Salvation Army also provides emotional and spiritual care and will distribute clean up kits to residents.
In Tallahassee, Salvation Army Lt. Ryan Meo along with teams from Pensacola, Panama City, Jacksonville and Tampa, will host a staging area at its office in Tallahassee, 2410 Allen Road. From the staging area, the mobile kitchens will be dispatched along the coast to assist residents affected by the storm.
Meo said The Salvation Army will be located in three priority locations: St. Marks, south Leon County and Ochlockonee Bay.
Another staging area will be in Ocala, 2101 NE 14th, which will focus on the Cedar Key area including Levy and Dixie counties.
“The situation is very fluid right now,” said Major David Erickson, General Secretary for The Salvation Army of Florida. “We are asking our teams to be flexible and be prepared and serve when called and where needed.”
Kevin Smith, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Florida, said a semi-truck left The Salvation Army’s Tampa warehouse Friday morning with water, rain boots, mops, hygiene and clean up kits to Cedar Key, one of the areas most affected by the storm.
A team from Tampa is expected to leave for Tallahassee Friday afternoon.
“Our first response is to send our mobile kitchens,” Smith said. “Our goal is to bring a little comfort in times of crisis and to give people hope for the long road to recovery.”
Earlier this summer The Salvation Army responded to flooded communities in Upper Pinellas County following Tropical Storm Colin providing meals.
In the wake of the tragic shootings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, The Salvation Army had teams on sight serving first responders.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparations to Tropical Storm Hermine please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or www.salvationarmyflorida.org. To donate: Please call 1-800-Sal-Army, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, text “storm” to 51555 or contact your local Salvation Army.
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