For Immediate Release
Contact: Jan Gunter, Communications Director, 512-634-5910
2018 Hurricane Season Begins June 1 – The Salvation Army Stands Prepared for Active Season
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is preparing for the possibility of an active 2018 hurricane season, officially beginning on June 1 and running through November 30.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was a hyperactive and catastrophic season, featuring 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes – ranking it alongside 1936 as the fifth-most active season since records began in 1851. The first disaster response by The Salvation Army took place in 1900 when a devastating hurricane destroyed Galveston, Texas, killing more than 5,000 people. The devastation was so significant that the National Commander at the time, Frederick Booth-Tucker, ordered Salvation Army Officers from across the country to proceed to the disaster site to provide spiritual and practical assistance. At that time, there were no mobile kitchens, so the officers walked the streets giving people water and coffee.
Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall along the Texas coastline on the evening of August 24, 2017, prompted the largest Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) relief efforts seen since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Salvation Army EDS teams responded immediately providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders. At the peak of service 103 Salvation Army mobile feeding units were working in affected areas delivering more than 950,000 meals, 33,000 food boxes, 92,000 comfort kits and 15,000 cleanup kits in the months that followed. Relief efforts continue in affected areas and have transitioned from response to recovery with families and individuals meeting with regional Salvation Army case workers in the effort to put their lives back together.
Salvation Army EDS teams throughout Texas stand prepared and ready to respond once again. Statewide, the organization operates a fleet of 31 mobile kitchens, five rapid response vehicles, two field kitchens with the combined capacity to produce 25,000 meals per day, one communications unit, and a command unit. “One of the strengths of The Salvation Army EDS structure is that it is rapidly scalable in times of disaster,” said Alvin Migues, EDS Director for The Salvation Army, Texas Division. “Our mobile kitchens are assigned to Salvation Army units around the state and can be mobilized very quickly to respond to an event. Additionally, The Salvation Army has its own disaster training curriculum and we have fully trained teams ready to deploy literally at a moment’s notice.”
“The work of The Salvation Army touches every zip code in Texas,” said Migues. “With the generous support of donors and committed partners our trained staff and volunteers stand prepared to meet the challenges and resulting needs of the 2018 hurricane season.”
For more information on The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services, visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org