SAVANNAH, GA (September 15, 2017) – As evacuees from across Georgia return to rebuild and refurbish their homes, The Salvation Army of Georgia continues to assess and redeploy its disaster relief operations for the most effective service of people impacted by Hurricane Irma. As power is restored to increasing areas, many Salvation Army service locations in the northern and central parts of the state have been concluded.
Earlier this week, The Salvation Army moved its Incident Management Team (IMT) to Savannah, GA to be closer to, and more effectively serve, the most severely impacted coastal area. The IMT is tasked with coordinating The Salvation Army relief efforts state-wide, plus coordinating efforts with local and state authorities and partner agencies.
To better serve the coastal Georgia area, The Salvation Army teamed up with the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief organization. The Baptist organization cooks the hot meals, which are then stored in specially designed containers, and The Salvation Army mobile feeding units (canteens) then deliver the meals throughout the coastal area. The Baptist Disaster Relief team moved into the parking lot of The Salvation Army Savannah Corps, where the IMT has set up their disaster operational headquarters, so the two organizations could work closely side-by-side.
The Salvation Army is also distributing specially designed cleaning kits – often a welcome sign for those cleaning out flooded homes and businesses. “The Salvation Army was here twice a day all this week,” said Tybee Island resident Shirley Sessions. “They are always the first to arrive and the last to leave.” Now retired from the United Way “Hands-On Savannah,” Shirley has worked in partnership with The Salvation Army for years, adding, “The Salvation Army are like angels!”
Hurricane relief efforts continue in areas throughout the state wherever needed, including a request from Georgia State Operations Center (SOC) asking if someone could provide gluten-free meals for a special-needs child located in Sautee, GA. The boy’s family had their power cut off by the storm and it is anticipated to take be off for at least a week. Lieutenant David Birks from Toccoa, GA, worked directly with the SOC to provide gluten-free food to the family until their power can be restored.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to help people in their time of need,” said Lt. Birks. “In The Salvation Army we just ask people two questions; What do you need, and how can we help.”
As people from across the state return to their homes in previously evacuated areas, they are mindful of how this is the second hurricane to hit their area in one year. Georgia Incident Commander Major Douglas McClure assures them, “Wherever you are, The Salvation Army will always be there to help you through the disasters of life; physical, emotional, and spiritual – 365 days of the year.”
Coastal and Southern Georgia area service highlights:
- Savannah Corps – Divisional Incident Management Team relocated to the Corps building. Canteens are roaming Tybee Island. Distributed 593 meals, 677 drinks, 724 snacks, and 140 emotional care contacts were provided.
- Brunswick – Five National Capital/Virginia canteens are serving the Brunswick area: Distributed 1261 meals, 1,471 drinks, and 1,049 snacks, with 88 emotional spiritual care contacts.
- Albany – Services concluded on September 13.
- Waycross –Distributed 40 meals, 40 drinks, and 4 snacks. Services concluded on September 15.
- Valdosta – Services concluded on September 12.
- Thomasville – Services concluded on September 12.
- Tifton – Distributed 100 meals, 200 drinks, and 150 snacks. Services concluded on September 13.
- Americus – Distributed 21 meals, 24 drinks, and 21 snacks. Services concluded on September 14.
- Douglas – Distributed 89 meals, 481 drinks, and 278 snacks. Services concluded on September 14.
- St. Marys – Three canteens are serving the St. Marys area. Distributed 1,700 meals, drinks and snacks, plus 46 food boxes.
Metro Atlanta, central and north Georgia:
- Metro Atlanta Area Command – Services concluded on September 11.
- Central GA Command (Macon) – Provided food support to Brooks East Macon Center, North Park Community Center, Frank Johnson Community Center, and Memorial Park. Distributed 1,278 meals, 1,339 drinks, and 925 snacks, with 3 emotional care contacts.
- Columbus – Distributed 374 meals, 400 drinks, and 402 snacks. Services concluded on September 14.
- Augusta – Services concluded on September 13.
- Covington – services have concluded.
As of Thursday evening, September 14, 46,338 meals, 72,164 drinks and 39,354 snacks, 45 clean up kits, and 10,328 contacts for spiritual and emotional care have been provided in Georgia to those impacted by Hurricane Irma.
Those who want to help people directly affected by recent hurricanes are asked to donate in the following ways:
Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
Text to give: text STORM to 51555
For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmymusa.org and follow the disaster services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.
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 (HumanNeedsIndex.org). 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. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.