Mississippi and Alabama Tornadoes Bring Challenges; Report from Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Team

By Kristin Miller, Salvation Army On May 5, 2014

Jackson, MS - The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Team is no stranger to expertly devising plans in order to get communities back on their feet as fast as possible.  However, the outbreak of tornadoes on Monday, at least nine hitting Mississippi, created a challenge for the ALM Division that is not often seen.

The damage created by Monday's storms is so widespread through Mississippi and Alabama that it has been a challenge and quite expensive to get resources to every area in need. "We aren't talking a few miles," says Thad Hicks, Divisional Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army ALM Division. "We have three mobile feeding units in Louisville, Miss. covering 40 miles to ensure everyone has food and water." 

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Areas such as Louisville have set up central locations where people affected by the storms can go to receive food, drinks, cleaning supplies, and clothes; however, some people are not able to make it there. The Salvation Army's mobile feeding units (canteens) are some survivors' only hope at getting assistance right now.

Large in part to these mobile feeding units, The Salvation Army has served 23,325 meals, 31,496 drinks, and 16,635 snacks thus far. In addition, they have provided 387 persons shelter, emotional and spiritual support to 572 people, 259 clean up kits, and 657 comfort kits.

The Salvation Army's mobile feeding units will continue their services as long as they are needed, despite the mileage or cost. The Jackson, Miss. Corps is serving lunch and dinner daily in Rankin County. Canteens from New Orleans and Jackson are assisting Louisville, Miss. Tupelo and Florence canteens are feeding right under 2,000 meals a day in Tupelo. Laurel and Hattiesburg Corps are assisting Sandersville, Miss. The Birmingham, Ala. Corps  is assisting people in Bessemer and Adamsville, Ala. Graysville, Ala. is being assisted by the Mobile Corps. The Mobile Corps is also serving food at the Baldwin County Coliseum. Columbus, Miss. Corps is serving in Columbus. The Tuscaloosa Corps is also serving in their own area. The Salvation Army is serving around 1,800 meals a day in Athens, Ala. with the assistance of the corps from Huntsville and Decatur, Ala.

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The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865. Nearly 30 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. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.

For more information: http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org
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