To hurricane survivors, The Salvation Army is a daily blessing

To hurricane survivors, Salvation Army is a daily blessing

To Barbara and Joseph Prater of Lake Charles, Louisiana, The Salvation Army is “the conglomeration of angels” that faithfully delivers hot meals, cold drinks and comfort to a severely damaged neighborhood nearly two weeks after Hurricane Laura.

The Praters have been living in a makeshift room Joseph created in the back of their house, hooked up to an air conditioner and a portable generator. Barbara is a breast cancer survivor who needs to keep cool for her health. Other family members whose homes also were damaged have moved in with them.

“We’re sleeping on the floor on mattresses, but we’re so grateful for it because some people don’t have walls at their house,” Barbara said. “We were just sitting here praying and asking God to send us some angels, and that’s exactly what he did. And here they are, back again today, to bless us.”

“All I’ve ever known The Salvation Army to do is help people. It’s what they do, and I’m so grateful.”

Electricity and water services are slowly being restored in the Lake Charles area, but requests for food and shelter are increasing due to the prolonged utilities outage. Cell phone communications remains spotty to nonexistent. Debris still litters a number of side roads, limiting delivery access.

Conditions are better across the state line in Texas, where Hurricane Laura wrought less damage after making landfall Aug. 26. Here, The Salvation Army is gradually demobilizing as power returns to many locations. Four mobile kitchens continued to serve meals Monday, and plans were in place for food box distributions this week.

“Several communities have been without power, and our teams did a great job of providing hot-meals, water and encouragement to those affected by Hurricane Laura,” said Alvin Migues, director of The Salvation Army Disaster Services in Texas. “In the space of 10 days, we have served more than 107,000 meals in very hot and humid conditions with heat advisories in place for several of those days.”

As of Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services personnel in Louisiana and Texas have distributed more than 198,000 meals and 139,000 drinks and have handed out nearly 96,000 snacks. Thirty-seven mobile feeding units (canteens) and four support vehicles are on the scene.

A total of 114 disaster workers have performed more than 9,800 hours of service and given spiritual and emotional care to about 4,600 people.

Daphne Nabors and Philip Burn contributed to this story.


Food Services

  • 130621 Meals
  • 99818 Drinks
  • 74516 Snacks
  • 22 Active Mobile Feeding Units
  • 4 Support Vehicles and Emergency Equipment

Product Distributed

  • 654 Cleanup kits (per kit)
  • 137 Cleaning Supplies / Tools (per order)
  • 1407 Comfort / Hygiene Kits (per kit)
  • 776 Food Boxes (per box)
  • 975 Infant Supplies (per order)
  • 11 Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) (per item)
  • 324 Personal Protective Equipment (per item)
  • 43 Pet Supplies (per order)
  • 448 Water (per case)
  • 51 Water (per gallon)
  • 68 Disaster Workers have given 5410 hours of service
  • Emotional and Spiritual care to 3606 people


Food Services

  • 67794 Meals
  • 39380 Drinks
  • 21368 Snacks
  • 15 Active Mobile Feeding Units

Product Distributed

  • 1188 Cleanup kits (per kit)
  • 729 Food Boxes (per box)
  • 30 Disaster Workers have given 2966 hours of service
  • Emotional and Spiritual care to 908 people