Dallas, Texas (August 25, 2020) – Trained Salvation Army staff and volunteers are preparing to move into South East Texas ahead of the anticipated landfall of Hurricane Laura on Thursday morning. Current forecasts suggest that the storm could potentially reach the coastline as a Category 3 Hurricane. Ten mobile kitchens are on standby for deployment with an additional five units in Texas being prepared should additional support be needed.
Feeding operations have already started in South East Texas where regional resource centers have been established. “The Salvation Army teams from Texas City and Beaumont are providing food to those seeking help from local resource centers, even ahead of the storm making landfall,” said Alvin Migues, Director of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) in Texas. “We are especially concerned about the Golden Triangle and Houston areas that have historically suffered significant flooding during similar severe weather events. As the track of the storm develops, we will be in position to react and deploy, as necessary.”
As several counties begin the process of evacuation, an 11-person Incident Command Team has been assembled and will be moving into the area. The team, consisting of Salvation Army EDS professionals and Officers from throughout Texas, will pre-position in Beaumont on Wednesday. “The Incident Command Team members provide leadership in all areas of disaster response including safety, operations, logistics, finance, planning and communication. As you can imagine, there are many moving parts in a large-scale disaster response, and we have an experienced and effective team in place to support the work of our staff and volunteers on the ground,” said Migues. “At this stage we have 10 mobile kitchen teams ready to deploy to deliver food, drinks, and emotional and spiritual care, and depending on the impact of the hurricane, have more units available. Units from Houston, New Braunfels, Bryan, Beaumont, Waco, Tyler, Lewisville, and Irving, will be the first to deploy.”
Several cities outside of the projected affected area, including Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, are preparing to provide shelter and assistance should it become necessary to those evacuating from their homes due to the storm.
EDS personnel will all be pre-screened prior to each deployment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Disaster workers will answer a series of wellness questions to determine if they are fit for duty at the time of deployment. “We have established protocols specifically to address responding to disaster during the current pandemic,” said Migues. “These include wearing a mask while serving, practicing social distancing and healthy hygiene by frequently washing their hands, and of course additional daily cleaning of mobile kitchens and other units. All aspects of service have been impacted by COVID-19 and we are committed to the safety of our staff and volunteers, while continuing to deliver help to those experiencing crisis.”
You can support the disaster work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation at www.helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx.About The Salvation Army