LOUISVILLE KY – Seven response units and fifteen trained staff have been deployed for response to Hurricane Florence. With a wary eye on the Atlantic and Hurricane Florence growing in intensity, mobile feeding response units and personnel are staged in Roanoke, Virginia for an immediate response after landfall.
Personnel safety is always a priority, guiding when and where The Salvation Army places people, vehicles, and supplies ahead of disaster response. “You have to have the resources on hand for immediate and life-changing response for survivors and responders, and they have to be safe,” said Bo Sells, the Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Amy across Kentucky and Tennessee.
Mobile feeding and response units along with trained personnel from Frankfort, Paducah, Hopkinsville, Danville, Hazard, Louisville, and Madisonville, Kentucky as well as Knoxville and Clarksville, Tennessee formed a convoy to the established staging area in Roanoke, Virginia. These units join others from western Virginia for rapid response to the Virginia coastline.
During the night, Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, shifted south, decreasing likely potential to northeastern Virginia and increasing the threat to coastal Georgia. “We prepare and plan using the best forecasts and information available to us. That means, adjusting as the situation changes,” shared Sells. The resources from Kentucky and Tennessee may be redirected to meet the changing needs in response to the shifting hurricane tact. “We go where the need is.”
“By leveraging a network of resources and personnel throughout the United States, The Salvation Army is able to meet the needs of the entire person—body, mind, and spirit – quickly and effectively,” Major Jim Arrowood, who as Divisional Commander is responsible for The Salvation Army’s work throughout the Kentucky and Tennessee Division. “This holistic approach is part of what makes The Salvation Army unique and meaningful in everyday lives, but particularly in times of disaster,” Arrowood continued.
Additional feeding units and staff are on stand-by, prepared to respond as and where needed.