In the midst of the Hurricane season in the United States, the Salvation Army USA has become one of the first responders to deliver aid at the frontline to victims. While the powerful Hurricane Katrina has just ravaged the state of Florida, New Orleans is currently under the threat of the fast-moving Katrina. The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services teams, who are well-experienced in Hurricane relief, have already moved ahead of the Hurricane and got ready to deliver aid in the high-risk regions, according to the press release dated August 28.
38 Mobile Feeding Units and 2 fully-equipped mobile kitchens were placed by the Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services teams in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Mobile Feeding Units, serving 5,000 meals per day, and mobile kitchens, serving 20,000 meals per day, are the Federal Emergency Management Agency's preferred food provider during hurricane response efforts, the Salvation Army USA reported.
The Salvation Army USA said food and supplies were in place on Sunday afternoon. They will be kept at a safe distance from coastal and inland storm-surge regions yet close enough to be moved immediately after the storm to meet the needs of victims and first-responders.
A variety of other aid to victims and emergency relief personnel are also available for crucial emergency support at any time. The Salvation Army distributes clean-up kits, containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies. Other resources include drinking water, shower units, and first aid supplies.
Operation Blessing and the Southern Baptist churches, will be assisting the Salvation Army in providing food and transportation as well.
According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Katrina has intensified into a Category 5 giant over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, reaching top winds of 175 mph. It is expected to hit New Orleans after sunrise Monday. The Associated Press said it would be New Orleans' first direct hit in 40 years. The Mayor of New Orleans is encouraging residents to evacuate calmly.
Harricane Katrina was a Category 1 storm with 80-mph wind when it first hit southern Florida Thursday that flooded neighborhoods and left nine people dead. While the Salvation Army continues to help out in the flooded areas of the southern tip of Florida, it has also started reaching out its hands to the Gulf of Mexico.
"This will be similar to last season when The Salvation Army was responding in multiple parts of the Gulf Coast at the same time," says Kevin Smith, state disaster services director for The Salvation Army in Florida. "We are here to help those in need, at the time of need, and have officers, employees and volunteers from across the country available to make it happen."
The Church World Service (CWS) is another major church-based organisation that is responding the disaster. CWS Disaster Response and Recovery Liaisons (DRRLS), Lura Cayton and Tim Johnson, are monitoring information from Florida partners - including Florida Interfaith Networking in Disasters (FIND), United Church of Christ, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and Lutheran Disaster Response.