DALLAS, TX (KWES) - Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall Wednesday along Florida's Gulf Coast as a powerful and destructive storm. The Salvation Army has placed all disaster relief resources across the state of Florida and in neighboring states on standby, including mobile feeding kitchens, trained personnel, and supplies. Disaster response teams and units from Texas are headed to Florida to support the anticipated relief efforts.
"Many of our trained disaster personnel have spent the past few weeks serving those impacted by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Having just returned home to Texas they are now preparing to leave again to serve those who will be affected by Hurricane Michael," said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. "Our people are trained for situations like this and are committed to helping those who find themselves in crisis. The Salvation Army will be there to help."
An 11-person Incident Management Team from Texas will lead The Salvation Army response efforts in the Panama City area, expected to be directly in the path of the storm. Services will begin there as soon as roads are passable. Three Rapid Response Units, which are modified pick-up trucks with the ability to serve food and drinks, have been deployed from Granbury, Dallas, and Austin. Seven mobile kitchen units, able to prepare and serve up to 1,500 meals per day, from Austin, Lubbock, Pasadena, Waco, Tyler, Fort Worth and Kerrville are also headed to Florida staffed by trained disaster personnel and volunteers.
"This has been an especially active hurricane season that has required large-scale response efforts by The Salvation Army and our partner agencies," said Migues. "Our people are prayed-up, well trained, and ready for the challenging work ahead. We ask for your support and prayers as we travel to serve those in need."
In times of disaster, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services staff and volunteers will typically each serve for 14 days at a time. In the early days of a response, The Salvation Army's focus is to provide for the immediate physical needs of the first responders and survivors, by delivering food, drinks, and snacks. Emotional and Spiritual Care is another integral component of the Army's service. Trained staff and volunteers are available to speak with, listen to, and pray with those affected by the disaster.