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THE SALVATION ARMY EMERGENCY DISASTER SERVICE
Whether it be a local incident or a major disaster, Salvation Army staff and volunteers are often the first on the scene and the last to depart, honoring a century-old commitment to serve those in need, at the time of need, and at the place of need.
Disasters come in many forms, both natural and manmade-always devastating to those involved. The Salvation Army is always on the scene because of its every day presence in communities across the country.
With that constant awareness of people's needs, The Salvation Army is often among the first on the scene when disaster strikes. Our personnel are trained to meet all kinds of emergencies by providing food, shelter, clothing and spiritual comfort. Disaster canteens (mobile feeding trucks) have become familiar sights to firemen, policemen and victims alike. Hot and cold drinks, soup, sandwiches, and complete meals fill vital needs when homes are destroyed and people are hungry.
The Salvation Army works with emergency management personnel and many other organizations to form a cooperative team during such difficult times. Each year, millions of volunteers come forward during disasters to give their time and effort when it is needed most.
The red shield continues to be a beacon of compassion; of immediatte aid, psychological support and spiritual counsel to individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted or shattered by forces beyond their control.
Salvation Army disaster response teams, coordinated and directed by commissioned officers and trained personnel, supported by volunteers, are "on call" to serve at all disasters and civil disorders which place a community or its populace at risk or which may disrupt or destroy family security and well-being.
Counseling victims, consoling the injured and distressed, comforting the bereaved, conducting funeral and memorial services, chaplaincy services to staff and volunteers.
Individual and family trauma counseling and emotional support.
Locating victims and providing information and communication to inquiring family and friends.
Where needed, mobile feeding units serve hot meals to victims and relief personnel on site.
Salvation Army buildings and other sites are used for preparation and service of meals to victims and relief personnel.
Financial grants for immediate needs are made to victims who demonstrate need. No repayment of grants is sought or required.
Shelters may be established and maintained in Salvation Army facilities or other sites. Programs include child care to allow adult family members to salvage personal effects, apply for long-term assistance, schedule reconstruction and undertake other necessary tasks.
The generosity of Americans enables The Salvation Army to solicit and distribute water, non-perishable foods, furniture, house-keeping supplies, building materials, and other basic nesessities.
The Salvation Army will, where appropriate and necessary, establish and maintain depots to facilitate the program.
The Salvation Army may elect to purchase and distribute basic commodities not readily available at the time of need. These may include, but not be limited to, food, water, health and sanitary needs, baby and child care products, medicines, bedding and other items for which an immediate need exists.
In major disasters, The Salvation Army may accept responsibility to coordinate or assist with reconstruction efforts.
The Salvation Army may establish depots for distribution of donated building supplies and may establish a financial aid office.
Support programs may be established including child care centers, educational and after school programs, recreation, leisure activities, individual/family counseling and other support programs.
Support programs allow adults to focus on rebuilding efforts with the assurance that children are receiving quality care in a safe environment.
Services to Volunteers
The Salvation Army recruits, trains and utilizes volunteers. Registered volunteers may be provided with housing, meals, and support services including transportation, if necessary and available.
Certified social workers, human services aides and officers are assigned to provide a professional level of assistance including advocacy and referral to private and public assistance programs.