Released 14 September 2008
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The Salvation Army today deployed five mobile disaster response units as part of three Texas National Guard "Strike Teams" that are responding to storm-affected areas in the wake of Hurricane Ike. The Salvation Army will provide hot meals, hydration and emotional and spiritual care to military personnel, emergency responders and others affected by the storm. The three strike teams staged operations in Galveston, Lufkin and Beaumont, Tex., and will be planning for the long-term response during the next several days.
"The early indications are that this storm is the worst of the five we have already responded to in the 2008 hurricane season," said Major Marshall Gesner, Greater Houston Area Commander for The Salvation Army. "With more than 4 million people without power, wide-spread flooding and high temperatures forecast for the area, our response will be about twice the size of our effort for Hurricane Gustav."
As part of the operation, two Salvation Army mobile canteens units-equipped with commercial kitchen equipment-joined a caravan of nearly 35 military vehicles as they moved into Galveston. Two canteens staged an operation from Lufkin, while one is serving from Beaumont to serve recovery efforts near the Ford Arena.
The Salvation Army began staging its overall disaster response effort in San Antonio and Tyler earlier this week. In total, the Army has a fleet of more than 60 canteens on active duty for this storm. Three 48-foot, mobile kitchens are being deployed to the most affected areas. The Salvation Army also is using new satellite communications equipment that creates local phone and Internet networks for its incident command teams. Throughout Texas, the Army is supporting the evacuation and shelter effort in at least 12 locations.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the recent tropical cyclones to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations are needed to meet survivors' most immediate needs. A $100 donation will feed a family of four for two days and will provide two cases of drinking water and one household cleanup kit (containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies). The Salvation Army currently is not accepting donations of clothing and furniture for storm victims; however, please continue giving to your local Salvation Army thrift store and the much needed programs your in-kind gifts support.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.