Preparation and Prepositioning

Louisville, Kentucky – Not expected to crest until late Monday or early Tuesday, rising water is already forcing evacuations up and down the Ohio River Valley.   This month’s extensive rains could bring the highest Ohio River levels since the devastating flood of 1997 and the second highest in more than 50 years.

Led by Bo Sells, Divisional Disaster Services Director, for The Salvation Army’s Kentucky and Tennessee Division, trained staff and volunteers are prepositioning supplies and coordinating with local officials.  Working closely with Emergency Management officials at local, county, and state levels, Salvation Army resources are on stand-by to provide Emotional & Spiritual Care along with feeding services at five emergency shelters already opened for those evacuated from flooded communities.

“Natural disasters can result in extreme distress; The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to respond holistically to the complex needs in a disaster situation,” said Major Jim Arrowood, the Divisional Commander, responsible for the work of The Salvation Army across Kentucky and Tennessee.

In addition to monitoring and coordination with local officials, The Salvation Army is also positioning prepared flood clean-up kits for distribution as soon as the water begins to recede.   These compact kits provide gloves, masks, mops, brushes, and cleaning supplies along with other necessities for those facing the devastation after a flood.

The Salvation Army is already active in response to the rising Ohio River, with a network of strategically placed supplies, equipment, and a host of trained responders ready to respond should the need increase.  Whether the flooding along the Ohio River or after the tragedy in Parkland, Florida the basic needs are the same:  food, water, material support, and The Salvation Army’s specialty – a shoulder to cry on, a hug, a knowing nod, a smile, a prayer and Emotional & Spiritual Care.

Financial donations are the best way to meet the evolving needs and to support relief efforts.  The Salvation Army asks those who want to help the individuals and families affected by disaster to visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate “disaster efforts.”  Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted most and support the impacted communities.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts.