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Hurricane Harvey 2017

Salvation Army Disaster Service Begins After Harvey Landfall in Texas


Austin, Texas (August 27, 2017) – Salvation Army disaster teams from Texas are traveling the length and breadth of the Lone Star State to the areas of greatest need as the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey becomes apparent. The Salvation Army Austin volunteer team from Williamson County, led by volunteer coordinator, Randy O’Dell, arrived in Victoria just before Noon today with a mobile kitchen (canteen), a mobile catering unit and a mule (4-wheeler). Today they prepared 600 meals to serve to first responders and survivors along with providing snacks, drinks and emotional and spiritual support. In addition to serving meals from the canteen, they will deliver food to people in hard to reach areas with the mobile catering truck and mule. They are prepared to serve up to 1,900 meals per day.

In Corpus Christi, Salvation Army staff spent the night alongside first responders and law enforcement personnel at the FEMA dome. Led by Captain Patrick Gesner, the team served coffee and meals throughout the day. “We ventured out in the early hours and it appeared that The Salvation Army building was intact. We collected some extra food from our freezer and fired up the generator on the mobile kitchen.,” said Captain Gesner. “We’ve already been serving coffee this morning and the police and first responders have expressed how pleased they are we are here. Our focus today will be cooking and serving meals at the FEMA dome while the city assessment is taking place.”

Captain Gesner and his team, including Gustavo Perez, Business Manager, and Yamid Duarte, Communications Director, delivered food to one of the city shelters at Robstown Seale Junior High on Saturday morning. “We delivered hot dogs and about 900 bottles of water to the shelter which was housing around 50 people,” said Duarte. “Our team, although exhausted responded to as many requests for assistance as possible. We were excited to see the mobile kitchen from the Laredo Corps arrive this afternoon!” 1,200 meals, 300 snacks, and 45 cases of water were distributed in Corpus Christi on Saturday.

The Texas Division fleet of 34 mobile kitchens will be joined by 10 units from the neighboring Oklahoma Arkansas Division along with an Incident Management Team. The Florida Division has deployed two mobile bunk houses and two shower units to Texas.

Flooding remains a major concern for the coming days with torrential rain forecast as the storm stalls over South Texas. It is expected that a number of mobile kitchens will be deployed to affected communities along the coastline on Sunday while others remain in anticipation of service needs in San Antonio where many evacuees have sought shelter. 

To make a financial donation to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please go to, text, STORM to 51555 or call 1-800- SAL-ARMY. Mail Checks to: The Salvation Army, PO BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate ‘Hurricane Harvey’ on all checks. 

For the latest information please go to and watch for regular updates on our Austin social media pages at and


About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services

“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.

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 128 years in the Austin area. Locally  tens of thousands of people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to self-sufficiency. Eighty-three cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson counties. For more information, go to,, or