Since its first charter was enacted in the United States in 1899, The Salvation Army has provided emergency services to individuals and communities affected by disasters and other catastrophic events. The Army’s first major disaster response operation was in 1900 after a devastating hurricane hit Galveston, Texas. The hurricane killed more than 8,000 people and obliterated more than 3,600 homes, nearly half the city. National Commander Frederick Booth-Tucker ordered Salvation Army officers from across the country to the stricken city to provide spiritual comfort and practical aid to the survivors of the storm.
Since then, The Salvation Army has been on the scene of thousands of disasters ... honoring a century-old commitment to serve those in need, at the time of need, in the place of need. In 1970, federal law reaffirmed the Army’s authority to provide disaster assistance with the passage of the Robert T. Stafford Emergency and Disaster Assistance Act, which also created the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
However, more important than this legal mandate is the moral and spiritual obligation The Salvation Army has to assist those suffering from the affects of a natural or man-made disaster. In obeying the teachings of Jesus Christ, Salvationists follow the parable of the Good Samaritan, providing compassion and physical comfort to those in need.