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Salvation Army Supporting Shelter and Evacuation for Hurricane Ike With Meals for Thousands of Evacuees and Emergency Workers
Date:9/12/2008

Warns Residents That Storm's Path Threatens Major Population Center and Heightens Danger

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Salvation Army today is supporting the evacuation and shelter operations ordered by the State of Texas prior to the anticipated landfall of Hurricane Ike late Friday. In anticipation of the growing storm, The Army has deployed a fleet of more than 60 mobile canteen units, along with satellite communications equipment and other materials and is preparing a disaster response operation that could rival the one it mounted for Hurricane Katrina, its largest ever. As Ike heads toward major population centers around Houston, Tex., the Army's primary mission will be to meet the immediate needs of those affected by the storm, including emergency responders.

"A storm of this size and intensity threatening a metropolitan area presents an enormous danger," said Major James Taylor, Texas Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army. "Hurricane-force winds and wide-spread flooding could not only cause loss of life and property, but could displace thousands of people for an indefinite period of time. We'll need public support to ensure a viable long-term response effort for the many people we expect will be in need."

As part of its operation, The Salvation Army began staging personnel and resources in San Antonio and Tyler, Tex., earlier this week with everything in place by nightfall today. This positioning will allow incident response teams to attack the storm from two sides immediately after it passes. Many of the resources have been held over from the recent evacuation and response to Hurricane Gustav which struck the Gulf Coast last month. More than 100 additional canteens are on standby from surrounding states as far away as Florida and North Carolina.

On Friday in San Antonio, The Salvation Army will continue to serve meals from a large mobile kitchen and two canteens stationed at Kelly Air Force Base. The Army is serving about 600 meals at a time, including a breakfast and midnight supper. Several smaller mobile canteens units will deploy to San Antonio for staging once the storm clears the coast.

In Tyler, The Salvation Army began feeding on Thursday at the evacuee registration center. Approximately 50 bus loads of people have already arrived and more are expected today. Additional canteens from the Gustav response will be staging there, along with five Southern Baptist kitchens and a satellite communications trailer, among other materials and equipment.

In addition, several Salvation Army units in Texas have mobilized to support sheltering and feeding including:

-- Texarkana - sheltering and feeding

-- Paris - feeding

-- Tyler - feeding and sheltering first responders

-- Abilene - feeding at an American Red Cross (ARC) shelter in Marshall

-- Port Arthur - feeding at an ARC shelter in Nacogdoches

-- Lufkin - feeding at Civic Center

-- College Station - feeding breakfasts at ARC shelter on Texas A&M Campus

-- Temple - feeding at scattered sites in Bell County

-- Killeen - feeding at two sites in Killeen

-- Dallas-Ft. Worth - prepared to feed at several sites in the Metroplex beginning Friday

-- Kerrville - feeding in New Braunfels

As part of its disaster response operation, The Salvation Army also is pre-positioning personnel and inventories to provide those affected by the storm with:

-- Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies

-- Hygiene kits

-- Drinking water

-- Shower units

-- First-aid supplies

-- Missing persons support through The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (http://www.satern.org) and

-- Emotional/spiritual care

"We are worried that this storm could be as dangerous and catastrophic as Hurricane Katrina and are preparing as such," said Major Taylor. "At this point in the storm season, this will be a serious financial challenge, because we have been heavily taxed by Dolly, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and now Ike."

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the recent tropical cyclones to visit http://www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations are needed to meet survivors' most immediate needs. A $100 donation will feed a family of four for two days and will provide two cases of drinking water and one household cleanup kit (containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies). The Salvation Army currently is not accepting donations of clothing and furniture for storm victims; however, please continue supporting your local Salvation Army thrift store and the much needed programs your in-kind gifts support.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org.


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SOURCE The Salvation Army
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