• Michelle Hartfield

The Salvation Army Prepares for the 2023 Hurricane Season

Preparation efforts for the 2023 hurricane season are underway in The Salvation Army Southern Territory. With so many survivors and communities counting on The Salvation Army’s response in times of disaster, we work hard to ensure supplies, equipment, and personnel are in place to immediately provide critical services to survivors.

To achieve this goal, The Salvation Army’s response starts long before a hurricane makes landfall. With facilities in hurricane-prone states like Florida, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Georgia, The Salvation Army Southern Territory works diligently to stay up to date on current and expected weather trend and be prepared to respond quickly.

The availability of disaster equipment and supplies is key to immediately and effectively responding after a disaster. The Salvation Army Southern Territory has seven dedicated disaster warehouses strategically located throughout the Southeast to stockpile critical supplies. Each year, resources including water, shelf-stable food boxes, breakfast and lunch meal kits, cleaning supplies, baby care items, and child comfort kits are stockpiled specifically for storm relief and distribution to survivors.

This year, The Salvation Army also expanded its hurricane relief response capacity by conducting specialized equipment training and prepositioning critical relief supplies for varied populations and communities in two of the largest EDS warehouses in the Southeast. Click Here to see our warehouse in Tampa, FL.

In addition to stockpiling disaster supplies, The Salvation Army obtained Starlink communications systems for the eight disaster centers. The Starlink communications system is a powerful and portable device that provides connectivity for The Salvation Army Disaster Teams in the field. Access to the internet enables faster decisions and information processing on-site when communications are otherwise limited or nonexistent. The communications system could also provide a service to survivors that may need to submit disaster information via the Internet.

To ensure The Salvation Army EDS Teams are experienced and ready to deploy as soon as it is safe following a disaster, The Salvation Army Southern Territory conducted simultaneous disaster equipment exercises in Tampa, FL, and Dallas, TX. This training focused on mobilizing and demobilizing incident command posts, including shower trailers, bunk houses, laundry trailers, generators, handwashing stations, and communication systems. Officers and professional EDS staff were trained to set up and operate specialized disaster equipment for base camp operations. Click Here for a tour of base camp operations.

The Salvation Army works year-round to provide critical disaster supplies to families impacted by disasters and is extremely grateful for partners like Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Lowe's, and Midwest Food Bank who work alongside us in times of disaster. It is very much the support of our partners and surrounding communities that allows The Salvation Army to respond so effectively in times of disaster.