Disaster Help

The Salvation Army Indiana Emergency Disaster Services When disaster strikes, the Salvation Army responds quickly, mobilizing its officers, employees and volunteers wherever needed to immediately and effectively provide emergency services to victims and emergency responders. These are the main Salvation Army disaster response services typically offered and available when a crisis disrupts an Indiana community, or the entire Hoosier state.

Spiritual and Emotional Counseling
Salvation Army officers are ordained ministers trained to counsel and console victims and comfort bereaved individuals in times of disaster. Their sole purpose in times of disaster is to connect with people and by working with Salvation Army disaster coordinators and social service professionals meet residents’ immediate needs. Salvation Army officers offer prayer and emotional support to victims and emergency responders during their times of need.

Emergency Shelter
Shelters are oftentimes established and maintained in Salvation Army facilities when communities are affected by large-scale disasters. The Salvation Army partners with other community service organizations to establish emergency shelters for victims of disaster. Shelters include meal service and resting areas for victims and emergency responders.

Mobile Feeding
Mobile feeding units, called canteens, are dispatched by the Salvation Army when disaster strikes. Volunteers serve hot meals prepared inside the canteens, cold drinks and snacks to victims and emergency response personnel. During large-scale disasters, Salvation Army corps and centers are used for meal preparation and service while canteens provide meals to victims and responders at remote sites.

Financial Assistance
Without seeking repayment, the Salvation Army offers financial assistance to victims of disaster, including vouchers for families to purchase grocery and personal items and funds through social service programs to help them secure temporary housing.

Donated Goods
The best way Hoosiers can support the Salvation Army as it helps disaster victims is to make a financial donation. When disaster strikes, Salvation Army disaster services personnel quickly assess local needs. Since each disaster is unique, each disaster demands a unique response. Financial donations are the fastest way the Salvation Army can ensure disaster victims receive the help they need to survive and overcome. One-hundred percent of all funds earmarked for disaster response is used for disaster response. The Salvation Army may elect to purchase and distribute basic-needs items not readily available to victims of disaster. These may include, but not be limited to, food, water, health and sanitary needs, baby and child care products, medicines, bedding and other items for which an immediate need exists. At times, the Salvation Army pleads to its Hoosier community for material donations, including items like bottled water, personal hygiene items, house-keeping supplies, infant care items, non-perishable foods, clothing and more. When material donations are needed, the Salvation Army establishes and maintains depots to accept donations. Local media – and this website – will publicize what specific items are needed.

Response to disasters could not be possible without many of the thousands of people who volunteer for the Salvation Army each year. Disaster volunteers are recruited and trained before disaster strikes so they are able to effectively and efficiently provide Salvation Army services to victims and their families. You can find information about upcoming training classes on our Calendar of Events or at disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. Sign up today to become a disaster service volunteer.

Communications, Amateur Radio Network (SATURN)
Critical to Salvation Army response is a group of amateur radio operators throughout the state comprising the Salvation Army Team Emergency Response Network. During a disaster, team members are able to help coordinate The Salvation Army’s response by providing critically needed communications in areas where normal modes are out of service.

Other Services
There are times when a community suffers a devastating blow that brings together large crowds in mourning or in search of emotional support from others in their community. During these events, The Salvation Army is sometimes asked to be on site to provide hydration, snacks and emotional or spiritual support. Whether it is a fallen police officer or a school tragedy, our EDS team and officers are there to ease suffering and provide comfort in times of duress.

Large-Scale Disasters
At times The Salvation Army is called upon to serve thousands of people after a natural disaster or national tragedy like the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Every aspect of Emergency Assistance comes into play for these long-term recoveries. Click here to learn more about The Salvation Army’s response to the attacks of 9/11.