05 October 2016

Caribbean Preparation

The Salvation Army is mobilizing resources and personnel to assist with the international relief effort in Haiti and Jamaica, in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm that is expected to hit the coast of Haiti later this evening.

The Salvation Army has had a presence in Haiti since 1950 and currently operates schools, clinics, a hospital, feeding programs, children's homes and church-related activities spread across two major facilities in Port au Prince, and at other locations in the country. In 1887, Jamaica became the first Caribbean nation The Salvation Army entered. Over the past almost 130 years, our services have grown to include corps worship centers,  feeding centers, children’s homes, a vocational training home for women, a men’s hostel, a senior citizens’ home, a residential school for the blind and visually impaired, kindergarten schools, daycare nursery centers, community centers, a medical clinic and an addiction rehabilitation center for men. 

Hurricane Matthew was expected to hit western Haiti Monday night before moving on to eastern Cuba on Tuesday. It is slow-moving, with sustained winds near 130mph. Jamaica is expected to get up to 25 inches of rainfall, while parts of Haiti may get up to 40 inches. Potentially catastrophic flash flooding and storm surges are expected, which will likely exacerbate the risk of typhoid, cholera and malaria.

The Salvation Army needs your help to support these Caribbean nations in the moments of and following this massive storm. Please donate to Caribbean relief efforts here, or by going to salar.my/Matthew.

USA Preparation

As the Carolinas closely monitor the track of Hurricane Matthew, The Salvation Army is preparing its mobile feeding kitchens (canteens) for response in communities impacted by the hurricane. In a disaster, The Salvation Army partners with community agencies and emergency management to provide meals, drinks and spiritual and emotional care to first responders and disaster survivors.

“Right now we are leaning forward without moving forward,” said Mike Patterson, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of North and South Carolina. “Our mobile feeding kitchens are on alert and being prepped for service as the track of Hurricane Matthew is monitored. We pray that our preparations will not be necessary, but are ready when called by our emergency management partners.”

During times of disaster, The Salvation Army of the Carolinas has 20 mobile feeding units ready for disaster response; each mobile feeding kitchen has the capacity to serve 1,500 meals per day.

The Salvation Army encourages all residents in potentially vulnerable areas to review personal safety plans, become familiar local evacuation zones in coastal counties and locate the nearest hurricane evacuation routes. Information is available at www.scemd.org and www.readync.org. For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, follow the social feed on Twitter at @salarmyeds or visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

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"How to Prepare for an Emergency" -- from The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters