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Still Helping in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

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Released 12 February 2013

sandyIn the months since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the northeastern coast, The Salvation Army has helped thousands of those affected by the storm. During the initial response, The Salvation Army rushed essential services to people affected within a few hours of the storm’s passing. In coordination with volunteer and other partner organizations, The Salvation Army has provided more than 4.6 million meals, snacks and drinks to thousands of people who sustained tragic loss, as well as for first responders and work crews.


Overall, The Salvation Army has provided food and water, as well as other essential items including: blankets, batteries and flashlights, baby formula, diapers and baby wipes, toiletries, gloves and hand warmers. In addition, 7,500 volunteers have provided more than 24,000 hours of service from serving meals to fulfilling the request for prayers and emotional care.

Now, The Salvation Army is making long range plans for rebuilding and renewal after the storm devastated communities along the New Jersey shore line, New York City and Long Island last fall. In December, as communities began to stabilize in New Jersey, The Salvation Army entered a new phase of recovery – supporting survivors and families in the transition to returning home. A helpline (1-888-247-0100) was established to enable access of information and assistance to survivors finding themselves in need, some for the first time. Hot drinks and snacks, along with emotional/spiritual care, were provided along the Barrier Islands and throughout communities in Ocean County via ATVs generously donated by Polaris. A special holiday assistance application was established for those finding it difficult to make holiday celebrations a reality due to Hurricane Sandy. Tuckahoe Nurseries made a very generous donation to The Salvation Army of 400 live Christmas trees for families in impacted areas.


Most recently, an Emergency Assistance Center was opened in Hazlet, NJ. Additional centers are planned to open soon. These centers will assess client’s needs based on standardized guidelines for aid, check for FEMA number or proof of address that family lives in affected area. They will also provide referrals to other agencies, large-scale distribution of in-kind donated items ranging from clothing to household goods, cash card financial assistance and food boxes. Moving toward the next stage of recovery, it is anticipated that there will be a period of addressing long-term and unmet needs. The Salvation Army will work via statewide and local community partners to ensure that safety nets are in place for those continuing to struggle.


In New York, through a partnership among The Salvation Army, NYC Restore (Mayor's office), National Guard, NYPD and NYC Service, two million ready-to-eat meals (MREs) and 700,000 bottles of water were distributed over 12 days post-landfall in 17 locations throughout New York City. The Salvation Army provided over 40,000 low sodium, vegetarian and kosher meals for the evacuees housed in all eight special needs shelters scattered throughout New York City. The organization continues to provide clothing and furniture vouchers, financial assistance, travel cards, emotional and spiritual care and referral services in the NYC Restoration Centers and the Long Island Disaster Assistance Centers.


Within the impacted zones, Salvation Army facilities are used to assist families and individuals who may or may not qualify for federal assistance.  Services include: clothing/furniture vouchers, financial assistance, travel cards, emergency supplies, emotional and spiritual care as well as information and referral services.  Salvation Army facilities located in the impacted communities include Bay Ridge (Brooklyn), Freeport, Hempstead and Blue Point (Long Island) as well as Stapleton (Staten Island).The Salvation Army in Greater New York continues to accept, warehouse and distribute emergency supplies for Hurricane Sandy survivors.


Emergency supplies, new clothing, personal hygiene products, clean-up supplies and home furnishings are being distributed as needed. The Salvation Army is part of the Multi-Agency Shelter Transition Task Force led by FEMA. The program involves The Salvation Army and American Red Cross disaster case workers who are working in teams to interview the 2,200 families that remain in shelters and transitional housing (hotels) throughout New York City and Long Island. The teams will ascertain the requirements necessary to relocate these families into longer term housing.  In addition to FEMA and American Red Cross funding, The Salvation Army will 'fill in the gaps' to ensure that the affected families complete the next step in their recovery plan. The Salvation Army will provide financial assistance to assist with broker fees, security deposits, furniture, household items and basic living expenses. The program is an interim step before federal case management is established and it is expected to continue through February 28.


As part of the long-term recovery, The Salvation Army of Greater New York is planning to partner with Habitat for Humanity International to assist impacted homeowners on Staten Island with their ability to rebuild, repair and refurbish their homes.  In this plan, The Salvation Army will facilitate the disaster case management process to identify and assist qualifying beneficiaries while Habitat for Humanity will facilitate the construction process.  Both agencies will collaborate to secure home furnishings and major appliances. Similar projects are under consideration for Island Park and Mastic Beach on Long Island. The program will continue throughout 2013.  


In addition to New Jersey and New York, The Salvation Army has provided assistance to storm victims in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.     


Nationally, The Salvation Army maintains a fleet of disaster vehicles and supply warehouses across the United States to enable speedy mobilization. There are more than 300 emergency response vehicles in the eastern and southern United States alone along with nearly 600 units nationwide, all of which are capable of serving thousands of meals and drinks per day when operating at full capacity. In addition to food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care, The Salvation Army is also prepared to provide: clean-up kits, hygiene kits, shower units, first-aid supplies and communications support.


The Salvation Army is extremely gratified for the continued support of the donating public, which to date has donated more than $20 million to support relief efforts. Monetary donations are still the most critical need as supplies and personnel move into the areas of greatest need. Donors are encouraged to give online at or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).


Every donation made makes a difference:

A $10 donation feeds a disaster survivor for one day.

A $30 donation provides one food box, containing staple foods for a family of four, or one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies.

A $100 donation can serve snacks and drinks for 125 survivors and emergency personnel at the scene of a disaster.

A $250 donation can provide one hot meal to 100 people or keep a hydration station operational for 24 hours.

A $500 donation keeps a Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding unit) fully operational for one day.

The Salvation Army is one of the nation’s largest providers of disaster service and responds to hundreds of disasters across the country each year. Some of the most recent disasters include:

Hurricane Katrina (August 2005): The Salvation Army provided more than 5.6 million meals to survivors and first responders of Hurricane Katrina, and 2.5 million people were assisted with emergency food, casework, emotional and spiritual care.

Haitian Earthquake (January 2010): The Salvation Army packaged and delivered more than 10 million meals to Haiti, and more than 27,000 survivors were treated at Salvation Army medical facilities. Additionally, The Salvation Army distributed approximately 8,000 hygiene kits.

U.S. Tornado Outbreak (April & May 2011): The Salvation Army served nearly one million meals and distributed 50,000 hygiene kits, and more than 10,000 people received emotional and spiritual care.



About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad 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. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to

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