October 2015 South Carolina Floods: Salvation Army Response and Recovery

October 22, 2016
Shelley Henderson | shelley.henderson@uss.salvationarmy.org | (704) 621-6106

October 2015 South Carolina Floods: Salvation Army Response and Recovery

Every day The Salvation Army is at work, fulfilling its mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. We shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, provide guidance to youth, give financial assistance people in crisis, and are a church home to many. When disasters happen in communities, The Salvation Army is already there and ready to respond.

South Carolina Floods, October 2015
One year ago parts of South Carolina were devastated by historic flooding. Those areas recorded over two feet of rainfall—11 trillion gallons of water—in the five-day period. In total, the floods were responsible for 19 fatalities and more than $2.2 billion in property damage.

The Salvation Army was there.

When the rain was predicted, The Salvation Army was already there providing social services and community programs. As the rain began, The Salvation Army was there monitoring the weather and coordinating disaster response with community and emergency management partners. Before the rain even stopped, Salvation Army mobile feeding kitchens (canteens) were rolling in from all over the Carolinas and Georgia, manned by teams ready to serve hot meals, cold drinks, and spread God’s love to people who were devastated by the floods.

As the emergency response transitioned into initial recovery, The Salvation Army assessed the needs of the community and worked to meet those needs. A Disaster Assistance Center was opened by The Salvation Army in Columbia, providing households with food boxes, clean up kits, and supplemental financial assistance. In Sumter, Georgetown, Orangeburg, and Charleston, clean up kits, water, hygiene kits, and food boxes were provided to residents. The Salvation Army in Horry County delivered food and supplies to people on a donated rubber raft because they were surrounded by water and could not get out.  During the initial disaster response, The Salvation Army emergency disaster teams served more than 151,000 meals, snacks and drinks, and provided more than 2,500 people with emotional and spiritual care. 

This work was not done without help. Thanks to generous support from the public, corporate donors, and philanthropic organizations, The Salvation Army raised more than $1 million for response and recovery efforts.

During response operations The Salvation Army provided: 
•   151,962 meals, drinks and snacks
•   11,499 hours of Salvation Army officer, employee and volunteer service
•   Emotional and spiritual care to 2,525 individuals
•   Emergency financial aid to 1,704 families with assistance such as gift cards, vouchers to Family Stores, and referrals for a variety of services.

“The Salvation Army was here long before the storms and we will be here as long as we are needed,” said Major Roger Coulson, corps officer for The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “We will do everything we can to bring families and individuals comfort as they put their homes and their lives back together.”

Even though providing disaster relief in the community, The Salvation Army continued to operate its regular programs and services, providing meals, emergency shelter, clothing and energy assistance to residents in need who were not affected by the disasters.

Long-term Recovery
One year later, the long-term recovery of flood survivors, with their many and varying needs, is an ongoing focus for the Army, and is where the bulk of donated funding is committed.  

As the disaster response has transitioned from immediate to long-term recovery services, The Salvation Army continues to support families affected by the floods and to help rebuild communities. The Salvation Army has committed the balance of the total donated to long-term recovery, including the following:

  • Coordinating with other disaster case management agencies and organizations to eliminate duplication of efforts.
  • Working in collaboration with other community organizations to provide supplemental financial assistance for home repairs and rebuilding.

“It will take a long time for South Carolinians to fully recover from the flooding that devastated our state,” said Major Angie Repass, corps officer of The Salvation Army of Horry County. “In the weeks, months, and years ahead we will continue to fulfill our mission to serve those who need us and we will be here until we are no longer needed.”

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 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 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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