October 6, 2016 (Atlanta, GA) – The Salvation Army of Georgia is prepared and on stand-by, ready to help the people of coastal Georgia as Hurricane Matthew approaches.
“Historic,” said The Salvation Army’s Georgia Divisional Commander Major Charles Powell of approaching Hurricane Matthew adding, “We have finalized plans and are ready to respond aggressively and serve compassionately where and when needed.”
While the red shield of The Salvation Army has been a symbol of hope and help for the people of Georgia for over 125 years, Georgia has not had a direct hit from a hurricane in over a century. In anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency Wednesday for 17 counties in Georgia’s coastal areas, and a subsequent mandatory evacuation of six of those coastal counties.
The Salvation Army of Georgia has a fleet of mobile feeding units (canteens) designed for rapid and free-standing response in times of emergency. “Fifteen Salvation Army canteens in Georgia will be deployed to the Georgia coastal cities of Savannah, Brunswick, and St. Marys,” said Major Jack Butler, Emergency Disaster Service Director for The Salvation Army of Georgia. The canteens will be stocked with three full days of food and drinks ready to serve affected areas. After deployment, the mobile canteens will have the ability to restock and move throughout affected areas to serve those in need.
The Salvation Army works with partners at the Georgia Emergency Operations Center to coordinate relief efforts for impacted areas. The Salvation Army of Georgia has established an Incident Command Team to monitor the storm and communicate with state and local officials to coordinate efforts and respond effectively.
In times of disaster, The Salvation Army traditionally serves and prepares meals from its mobile canteens, helps distribute cleaning supplies, and offers comfort to those impacted. According to Major Butler, “The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution.” Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the situation continues to be assessed.
Currently, The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations from the general public for disaster relief operations. This may (or may not) change once the storm has made landfall and a more complete assessment of survivor’s needs are known.
However, The Salvation Army depends upon your donation of used clothing and other items to support local programming. Please consider donating your used clothing, used furniture, and other items to your local Salvation Army Family Store.
Those who want to help people directly affected by Hurricane Matthew are asked to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.