Hurricane Irene approaching the US east coast.

Alexandria, Virginia (August 26, 2011) – As Hurricane Irene approaches the Southeastern United States as the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season, The Salvation Army is preparing staff, equipment and supplies to serve as needed. In the southern U.S. alone, the Army has more than 270 emergency response vehicles including canteens (mobile kitchens), shower trailers, field kitchens, and additional logistics equipment available. The Salvation Army will provide food, drinks and spiritual and emotional care to emergency responders and community members should Irene produce severe storms and damage between Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and the greater Washington, DC area, New York City and New England.

Monetary donations:

The best way to help now is to call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or go to donate.salvationarmyusa.org/Irene to make a donation by credit card. 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” Cell phone users may also text the word STORM to 80888. 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.

“With the threat of Hurricane Irene bearing down on the continental U.S., The Salvation Army is taking every precaution necessary to ready equipment and supplies to provide emergency relief services as needed to anyone who may be impacted by the storm,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army. “The Army has stockpiled warehouse facilities across the southeastern U.S. with food, water and medical supplies for use in a major disaster.”

While the forecast keeps the eye of the storm off the eastern coast of Florida, and into Georgia, the Carolinas and the greater Washington, DC area, New York City and New England there is a significant possibility that as it moves north, Hurricane Irene will produce severe storms with the potential for flooding and numerous tornado warnings. The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchens are strategically placed around Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and the greater Washington, DC area, New York City and New England to support a response along the east coast. If Irene passes without significant damage in Florida, the units will be available to support neighboring states.

“Personnel from the southern tip of Florida through New England are monitoring Irene’s path closely and will be ready to respond to the needs of individuals before and after the storm,” said Major Hood. “But as the storm approaches, we encourage residents throughout the potentially impacted states to prepare themselves and be safe.”

The Salvation Army is asking residents of the entire east coast from Florida to New England, to be prepared with an emergency disaster plan. Critical decisions need to be made ahead of time, before the storm makes landfall. 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/SAIndiana

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.

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.

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