UPDATE August 29, 2017 – Major Jamie Pennington of The Salvation Army’s New Albany, Indiana Corps Community Center, is headed to Texas as part of a Emotional & Spiritual Care (ESC) team from the Midwest. Major Pennington, like all Salvation Army officers, is an ordained pastor. He has also received additional training ESC training to support survivors, first responders, and volunteers in disaster situations.
Major Pennington will ship out on Wednesday, August 30, 2017. The Emergency Disaster Services teams in Indiana are currently on standby and will deploy if and when they are needed in the region. Disaster teams have been deployed from states across the southern United States, but all units in the U.S. and Canada are have been activated.
The Salvation Army of Texas has released a new update detailing activities on the ground and in the region:
In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, The Salvation Army is supporting one of the largest disaster relief operations in its history. To date, The Salvation Army has deployed 71 mobile feeding units to Texas. Twenty-nine additional units are on standby to support the state out Louisiana if Harvey’s rains cause severe flooding there and additional feeding units are on standby across the country to help if needed. Salvation Army trained disaster workers are being deployed to the stricken area from across the United States and Canada.
As rain continues to fall and flood water rises in Houston The Salvation Army is providing emergency assistance throughout the city. Four Salvation Army shelters have opened their doors to those evacuating their homes – Harbor Light Center for men, Sally’s House for women, Family Residence and Conroe Red Shield Lodge. More than 70 people rescued from flooding are currently staying at the Pasadena Corps. As areas of the city become accessible Salvation Army units are ready to move in and serve those in need. Other locations remain on standby to serve.
Captain Jay Ward, Commanding Officer of the Houston Northwest Corps, along with his son helped evacuate 32 people by boat in his community. “It’s devastating out here. I’ve been working disaster all my life but this is the worst I’ve seen,” said Captain Ward. “People are coming out in their boats and helping to save people, we’re pulling people out of houses now.”
An Incident Command Team from Florida will arrive today in Houston to oversee the ongoing and expanding relief efforts.
The Salvation Army is helping with rescue efforts in Galveston County and the Center of Hope in chapel and classrooms have been made available to shelter people on Galveston Island. In Texas City, Captains Patrick and Jennifer Jones continue to support sheltering operations at the Vincent Community Center that already is housing more than 100 people.
CORPUS CHRISTI AREA:
Service continues in the Corpus Christi area where an Incident Command Team from Oklahoma and Arkansas began service on Monday. Seven mobile kitchens from that team, in addition to units from Laredo, McAllen, Corpus Christi and Dallas Fort Worth. Displaced residents from the barrier island of Port Aransas were allowed by law enforcement to return to inspect their homes on Monday afternoon. The Salvation Army McAllen mobile kitchen continues to serve meals, snacks and hydration to residents seeking assistance and to first responders. A team also drove through the devastated streets serving sandwiches and drinks to people working to salvage what they could from their damaged homes. Several people requested prayer from team members.
The cities of Rockport and Aransas Pass found themselves directly in the path of Hurricane Harvey and sustained significant damage. A Salvation Army team from Oklahoma will establish service in Rockport at lunch time today while a second unit will continue to provide support in Aransas Pass.
The City of Dallas is preparing to open a shelter at the Dallas Convention Center this morning and The Salvation Army is will assume the responsibility of feeding those who stay there.
Additional units remain staged in San Antonio preparing for deployment as areas become accessible.
Kerrville team serving meals at two local shelters. Temple Corps has opened an emergency shelter. Two mobile kitchens from Austin serving at a shelter in Seadrift, Texas. Lubbock mobile kitchen served in Belton, outside Temple.
As of Monday evening, August 28, 6,288 meals, 7,162 snacks, and 5,664 drinks have been provided.
August 28, 2017 – The Salvation Army is on the ground and responding after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coastline this weekend. The initial response is being handled by Salvation Army disaster service units from Texas, but a local Hoosier team has been put on standby and could be deployed later this week.
Since Friday, The Salvation Army has deployed 42 mobile kitchens and two field kitchens to Texas. In addition to units already based in Texas, mobile kitchens from Arkansas and Oklahoma were sent to the region over the weekend. Each of these Salvation Army mobile kitchens can serve an average of 1,500 meals per day. The Salvation Army has staged emergency supplies such as cleanup kits, water, and food at its 100,000 sq. ft. disaster center in Arlington, Texas, and at points nearer to the coast.
The Salvation Army is also working closely with local and state emergency management officials and nonprofit partner organizations like Americares (which is providing bottled water) and Midwest Food Bank (which is providing food boxes).
The Salvation Army of Corpus Christi is concentrating their early efforts on feeding 200 first responders who are staged at the FEMA Safety Shelter dome. “We collected some extra food from our freezer and fired up the generators on the mobile kitchens,” reported Captain Patrick Gesner. “Our focus on Sunday is cooking and serving meals at the FEMA dome while the city assessment is taking place.”
How Hoosiers Can Help – You can help The Salvation Army help those in Texas by making a donation in one of these ways:
Text STORM to 51555
Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
Mail checks to: The Salvation Army 3100 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Please designate ‘Hurricane Harvey’ on all checks.