After the rain has subsided and the wind has become nothing but a gentle breeze, communities step out from where they sought refuge from the storm and examine what just occurred. Depending on where they are, many may see their entire town leveled or familiar landmarks with shattered windows and roofs missing. Others look around and see their home barely standing and as their eyes make their way down the street, realize the entire neighborhood was impacted by the unrelenting force of the storm. Soon, you can hear the crunch of wheels to debris as rescue teams and relief agencies enter the affected areas. You will see feeding units, The Salvation Army’s familiar Red Shield embossed on the side, make their way to where people anxiously stand, stunned from what just happened. The first item that is provided is prayer! Officers, staff and volunteers exit the units and quickly rush over to those staring in disbelief at what remains before them. Hands are held, heads are bowed, tears are shed and hope is restored as men and women pray in the name of Jesus for strength, peace, provision and guidance. Many we see have just lost loved ones and are overwhelmed with grief. Some have lost business and homes and are not sure how to move forward of if they even can. Some are just shaken from the event and need reassurance to replace the uncertainty they feel. The Salvation Army is a vessel for God to work and love on his people, to let them know they are not alone; that He is with them…always.
So far, there have been 31 confirmed fatalities as a result of yesterdays storms from KY, OH and IN. Damage and injuries throughout KY, TN, IN, OH, AL and GA. Salvation Army units that operate within these respective areas are on site meeting the need. We have included information from our Divisional Headquarters in Louisville below that highlights our local efforts:
“Louisville, KY (March 2, 2012)—The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services throughout the Mid and Southeast United States are responding to the results of today’s severe weather.
A series of tornadoes and straight-line winds in excess of tornado strength has caused power outages, and destroyed residential & commercial property. Far worse, today’s storms have been blamed for the loss of more than a dozen lives.
Responding immediately to the needs of the communities, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services teams are already serving first-responders and survivors. Joe Hughes, the Divisional Disaster Services Coordinator for the Kentucky & Tennessee Division, has been consumed in an effort to reach out to and coordinate efforts with Emergency Management across two states, while also relaying vital information to the trained response teams preparing for deployment.
In Kentucky, were Governor Steve Beshear declared a statewide state of emergency, The Salvation Army’s canteens—mobile feeding kitchens—along with trained staff and volunteers are already responding in communities from Paducah to Ashland. In other communities, Salvation Army representatives and government Emergency Management professionals are working to assess the extent of damage and how to delegate resources.
In Tennessee, disaster services teams are already serving first responders and survivors in greater Chattanooga, even as other communities in eastern Tennessee are still under tornado warnings. Disaster services teams and equipment are ready to respond to their neighbors in need as soon as officials clear it.
Providing support for search-and-rescue comes natural to Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services teams; even more so, ministering to the survivors. With a plan for the whole person, The Salvation Army’s response stands apart. “There are a number of hurting families in our communities tonight and we are there to support them every way possible, especially in our prayers.”—Lt. Colonel Mark Israel, the Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army’s Kentucky & Tennessee Division.”
Want to Help?:
- Prayer – pray for those we are serving and for the relief agencies and emergency personnel
- Donations – this enables us to provide clean up kits, food, drinks,hygiene kits, etc. And remember 100% of what you donate to disaster goes to disaster! Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to make a donation by phone text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation via text To donate online, click here!