The Salvation Army is using its extensive network to call in personnel with disaster relief experience from outside Florida to assist in the organization’s unprecedented disaster response in Hurricane Frances’ aftermath.
A group of six Salvation Army staff and volunteers from the Northern Division, which serves Minnesota and North Dakota, have been deployed to Florida to lend their help already-in-progress Salvation Army disaster relief efforts there, the Associated Press reported.
The Salvation Army has already served 700,000 meals and is continuing to provide immediate needs to those affected by the hurricane.
The six volunteers include Major Alan Fones of the St. Cloud Salvation Army office, Captain William Mealy and Randy Stahl from Mankato, Captain Adam Moore and Disaster Services Coordinator Steve Carbno of the Fargo Salvation Army.
According to IN-Forum News, Moore served during the Hurricane Andrew efforts and Carbno served at ground zero in New York. Both will supervise relief efforts in Florida during the group’s two-week stay.
The group will concentrate on serving food to emergency personnel, volunteers and survivors, according to AP. They'll also provide food boxes, clean-up kits and long-term social services.
Salvation Army personnel and volunteers with experience in various emergency disaster response efforts have also been recently deployed to Florida from Midwest states such as Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
Maj. George Hood, national community-relations secretary for the Salvation Army's national headquarters in Washington, is also in Florida with four other team members to look for a place to set up a media-relations center in San Angelo, reported a local newspaper.
In order to ensure its response is immediate, the organization has designated 13 incident command centers by county or groups of countries to organize and deploy relief teams into areas affected by Hurricane Frances and Charley.
Additionally, The Salvation Army has 70 emergency response vehicles or canteens from several states including Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Florida working tirelessly to bring water and food supplies to the incident command centers and areas impacted the most by the hurricane.
Hurricane Frances has cut off electricity for 6 million people and killed ten. While many Floridian residents are cleaning up the mess the two hurricanes left, they are warily eyeing Hurricane Ivan, which is heading toward the state.
For those interested in helping with the organization efforts, the Salvation Army Florida has told them to C.A.R.E.. The Website explains: Cash—financial gifts get help to people fast, Ask—before collecting items that may not be needed. Only give items requested by relief agencies, Respond—by volunteering with a local relief agency. www.volunteerflorida.org or 1-800-FL HELP-1, Everyone can help—go to a local Volunteer Reception Center.