Doing The Most Good When Disaster Strikes

July 29, 2021
Jonathan Tostige Ruthberg |

The National Weather Service confirmed four tornado touchdowns in southeast Michigan on Saturday, July 24. Initiated by severe thunderstorms, the tornadoes caused serious damage, triggered multiple tornado warnings, and left tens of thousands without power. Fortunately, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team is prepared for this exact situation.

The tornado touchdowns were reported in Port Austin, Clayton Township, White Lake and Armada. Charles McDougall, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division, expressed that our EDS staff and volunteers are doing whatever they can to help those affected by the aftermath.

“We’re In the process of working out housing for those who need to be relocated,” he explained. “We’re using our emergency shelters for anyone who needs somewhere to go. A senior high rise in Detroit lost power to the storm, so we fed about 61 residents on Sunday. We also sent canteens to where the tornadoes had touched down in addition to feeding the incident command teams.”

The severe thunderstorms didn’t only result in tornadoes. Nearly a month after reported historic flooding, a combination of powerful wind and heavy rain caused additional flooding in certain parts of Metro Detroit.  

“As far as flooding goes, we’re continuing the same process as we’ve been doing,” said McDougall. “We’re directing people to their nearest corps and sending out flood kits. Again, we work out housing for those who need to be relocated, sending them to one of our emergency shelters when necessary. Whether it’s guiding someone to a safe place or providing food and water, we’ll do anything we can to help.”

The Salvation Army is currently providing housing for 30 individuals with other Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) who are mucking out basements for metro Detroiters (primarily senior citizens in need).

"Our continued collaboration with front line responders is providing relief to Metro Detroiters who are hurting. We are ‘behind the scenes,’ and donor dollars are supporting these efforts,” said Major Timothy Meyer, General Secretary of The Salvation Army, Eastern Michigan Division.

The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services has provided rescue and relief to communities affected by disaster for 121 years. The worldwide program served millions of disaster victims since its origin in 1900. Disaster relief and recovery services are provided to all in need without discrimination.

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services or how you can help, please visit our website or contact Charles McDougall at

Please consider a gift to support The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services. Funds raised go to provide food, temporary shelter, blankets, communications, pastoral counseling, emergency lighting, clean-up kits and referrals to Salvation Army centers.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 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 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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