Atlanta, GA — Reports indicate that at least 340 people died in the violent tornadoes which swept across the southern United States only days ago. Hundreds more are still missing. However, in the face of devastation, countless volunteers and donors have reached out to survivors in their time of greatest need.
Since the outbreak, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) volunteers, staff, and officers have provided emotional and spiritual care as well as critical food and hydration to those in need. Prayer, love, a hot meal, a cold cup of water – all are readily available at any one of the mobile feeding units serving throughout the South.
The Salvation Army is currently meeting immediate needs and evaluating long-term recovery efforts in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Additional teams are on standby throughout the South and will be deployed as needed.
Alabama & Mississippi — 40 EDS mobile feeding units, a shower trailer, and emotional/spiritual care teams are serving storm survivors in affected areas. Tens of thousands of meals and beverages have been distributed at multiple locations throughout the region. To learn more about relief efforts including current areas of service, please click here.
Arkansas — EDS teams are currently providing food, beverages, and emotional/spiritual care throughout Garland, Randolph, and Jackson Counties. Several areas are facing both tornado and flood damage. As of Friday evening, 3,195 meals and 3,058 drinks had been distributed.
Georgia — Feeding and emotional/spiritual care efforts continue throughout Spalding, Floyd, and Bartow counties. As of Saturday morning, EDS teams had distributed 2,628 meals in Spalding County, 580 in Floyd County, and 250 in Bartow County. Additionally, dozens of clean-up kits were given to survivors in need.
EDS teams from the Kentucky/Tennessee Division are providing food, beverages, and emotional/spiritual support at various locations in northwest Georgia including the hard-hit town of Ringgold.
Virginia — EDS teams from the Kentucky/Tennessee Division have been mobilized to meet material and spiritual needs of residents and determine next steps in service for affected communities.
Tennessee — Numerous locations across Tennessee are reporting moderate to severe tornado, water, and hail damage. EDS crews are offering food, beverages, and emotional/spiritual support in the following areas: Chattanooga, Cleveland, Murfreesboro, Union City, Clarksville, Greenville, and Memphis. In Cleveland alone, 2,650 hot meals and 400 food boxes were provided to residents in need. To read more about efforts in Tennessee, please click here.
Kentucky — Salvation Army EDS personnel continue to meet the needs of storm survivors in Paducah, Henderson, and Louisville through food distribution, emotional and spiritual care, and evaluation of long-term recovery needs. EDS leadership is also keeping a watchful eye on rising water levels and making preparations should a flood response be required. To learn more about Kentucky relief efforts, please click here.
For more information regarding ongoing relief efforts, please visit the Newsroom at www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
The Salvation Army is grateful to the public for their continued support.
The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) and designate their gift “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.” Checks may be made out to:
The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 100339
Atlanta, GA 30384-0339
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted outside the disaster area. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK.
William C. Hale
Media Relations Coordinator
The Salvation Army Southern Territory Headquarters