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Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Response

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Disaster Relief - Overview

Whenever a disaster strikes, The Salvation Army is on the scene offering assistance - a hot cup of coffee or cold drink, food, a warm blanket, emergency housing, and an encouraging word.

The Salvation Army can respond at the local, regional, or national level to provide assistance and hope to those affected by disaster.

For 105 years, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams - comprised of commissioned officers, trained employees and volunteers - have responded to natural and man-made disasters such as fires, explosions, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and other emergency situations that place communities at risk or which may disrupt family security and well- being.

While each disaster causes its own unique impact, there are certain basic needs that can be met by The Salvation Army. In cases of disaster, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide these basic services:

  • On-site assistance to disaster workers
  • Mass Feeding
  • Individual Feeding
  • Emergency Shelters
  • Comfort Stations
  • Spiritual Ministry
  • Distribution of clothing, food, relief supplies and any other necessary items

For more details and additonal services, see the Disaster Services Profile page.

Hillsborough County Operations
The Salvation Army works very closely with the Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management when disaster events occur. Locally, The Salvation Army is tasked with duties relating to the disbursement of food, water and other mass care supplies, as well as soliciting for and managing the onslaught of volunteers following a disaster occurrence.

The Salvation Army's initial emergency relief service occurs via mobile disaster canteens. These fully-equipped mobile kitchens are designed to feed hot and cold meals to victims and emergency workers in the field.

During major disasters, Comfort Stations may be set up to assist with relief efforts. Comfort Stations consist of one to three tents, a mobile canteen, portable toilets, a dumpster, a shower unit, and if needed, a medical unit. These Comfort Stations serve as one-stop relief centers where victims can receive assistance

Additionally, Salvation Army resources from across the state and southeastern United States can be deployed as necessary in response to major events.

Statewide Emergency Disaster Services

The Salvation Army's Florida Emergency Disaster Services Division, headquartered in Tampa Florida, manages the response to large-scale and statewide disasters. Our Emergency Disaster Services Division oversees the operation of:

  • 42 mobile feeding canteens
  • 10 transport trailers
  • 2 forty-eight foot mobile kitchens
  • Cargo trailers
  • Supply trucks
  • Personal support units
  • Shower units
  • 50 Comfort Station tents
  • Cots, blankets, clean-up kits
  • A Mobile command center

For further information about The Salvation Army's disaster relief capabilities or to volunteer, please call The Salvation Army Tampa/Hillsborough Area Command at:


To explore EDS volunteer training opportunites and for the most up-to-date infromation on any Salvation Army EDS reponse, visit


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