Tornado sirens were wailing in dozens of Indiana communities on Sunday afternoon as a line of storms marched across the Midwest. In addition to pounding rain and fierce straight-line winds, the storm system also produced over 60 tornadoes, at least 20 of which touched down in Indiana.

Hard-hit communities like Kokomo, Lebanon and Lafayette are cleaning up more than downed power lines and tree branches. In Kokomo, businesses and homes lost their roofs and dozens of structures were damaged beyond repair. These communities are not alone in their recovery efforts, though. Emergency Management agencies and organizations like The Salvation Army are on the scene helping citizens cope with a very difficult situation.

Before the winds even began to pick up on Sunday afternoon, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) were already preparing to head out to any community that might need emergency shelter and food for displaced residents.

Since the city of Kokomo experienced a direct hit, Captains Dale and Sandra Brandenburg at The Kokomo Salvation Army Corps Community Center worked with local Emergency Management officials to set up an emergency shelter at 1007 E. Foster Street. On Sunday night almost 20 individuals affected by the storms sought a place to sleep and hot meal at the shelter.

Though the streets were covered with debris, downed power lines and even homes that had been lifted off their foundations, the EDS canteen navigated through the city, providing food and drink to distressed residents and spreading word that there was a safe place for them to go.

In times of great anxiety and stress, The Salvation Army can be a beacon of light and hope. As the clean up begins and the long road to recovery is traversed, The Salvation Army will be here helping our neighbors in any way that we can.

If you would like to help those affected by these storms by making a monetary donation to The Salvation Army, you can give online at http://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/usc/2013-storms

Updates will continue to be posted on the Facebook page for Emergency Disaster Services – Salvation Army Indiana Division.