EDS CanteenAlexandria, Virginia (August 28, 2011) – As Hurricane Irene made landfall on the North Carolina coast yesterday, The Salvation Army was providing food, supplies and spiritual and emotional care to evacuees across the region. Thousands across eastern North Carolina were being fed and cared for at shelters by Salvation Army feeding teams. The Salvation Army also has mobile feeding units prepared to aid survivors of the storm throughout the northeast following this morning’s landfall.

“Though the North Carolina coast weathered the storm fairly well, we want to emphasize the seriousness of the storm and our cooperation with local officials and agencies,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the U.S. “With more than 2.5 million people under evacuation orders The Salvation Army remains committed 24/7 to providing those impacted with the basic services they need to get through this difficult period.”

The Salvation Army has already served some 15,000 meals to first responders and evacuees in New Jersey and nearly 11,000 meals, food and drinks in Greenville, Washington, Elizabeth City and Morehead City in the Carolinas. In Norfolk County, VA, The Salvation Army has served nearly 2,000 meals and snacks and provided lodging to 250 people. Similar activities are taking place up and down the East Coast. In total, The Salvation Army has 370 canteens and five mobile feeding kitchens along the eastern seaboard. Collectively, these units can provide several hundred thousand meals per day when operating at full capacity. Also, The Salvation Army is standing up a broad range of services, in coordination with local, state and federal governments, including supporting shelter operations and evacuations.

Salvation Army locations in the Caribbean and Bahamas are focused on response and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irene. In addition to helping evacuees cope with the stress and damage of the storm, response units in the U.S. Virgin Isles and Puerto Rico are providing those affected with gift cards to buy food, clothes and other supplies. In addition, representatives of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service Team have are continuing to work with the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to survey and assess the damage on the islands of Acklins and Mayaguana.

On Thursday, Commissioner William Roberts, the National Commander of The Salvation Army, declared Hurricane Irene a national disaster, which puts all units on alert status throughout the United States. This placed all divisions of The Salvation Army ready to assist by preparing staff, equipment and supplies to respond to the storm. The Salvation Army is urging all residents in the path of Irene to heed the advice of public officials and prepare with an emergency disaster plan.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Irene, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyindiana or www.twitter.com/SAIndina.

Monetary donations:
The most critical need right now is for monetary donations, which can be made online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by texting the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone.* Checks may be mailed to: The Salvation Army, Disaster Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Donations should be designated: “2011 Hurricane Season.”

*A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging and date rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.

Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

Your donations make a real difference.
A $10 donation feeds a disaster survivor for one day.
A $30 donation provides one food box, containing staple foods for a family of four, or one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies
A $100 donation can serve snacks and drinks for 125 survivors and emergency personnel at the scene of a disaster
A $250 donation can provide one hot meal to 100 people or keep a hydration station operational for 24 hours
A $500 donation keeps a Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding unit) fully operational for one day

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. 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 spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.