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October 18, 2016

AFTER THE DELUGE

RELIEF, RESTORATION, HOPE AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW

Volunteers, partners, communities join in to wage counter offensive against need, despair, loss.


Partnering with the Georgia National Guard to transport water from the Emergency Operations Center to those in need, The Salvation Army provided meals to men and women of the Georgia National Guard who were helping victims of Hurricane Matthew. 

Hairstylist Amber Metych owner of Local Roots Beautique, a salon near historic downtown Saint Augustine, Florida, started her small business in March. Overwhelmed with the damage to her salon from flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew earlier this month, she made a trip to the Army’s relief staging area in Saint Augustine, where she picked up water, hygiene items and a cleanup kit to begin the restoration of her local business. 

The cleanup kits include a mop, sponge, gloves, bleach, mask and other items that come in handy to help residents clean their homes or places of business after a flood.

“No matter where we are or what happens to us, we know God will take care of us,” says Jamie Boykin. “We were staying at The Salvation Army shelter in Savannah [Georgia] until we were evacuated to Augusta,” she says calmly as her daughter Avreyanna struggles to get a closer snuggle in her arms.

Jamie Boykin and daughter Avreyanna. 
source:disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

They were among 100 Salvation Army shelter residents, and about 2,600 Savannah residents evacuated by bus ahead of Hurricane Matthew to an Augusta shelter served by The Salvation Army.

These are a few of the many people Salvationists assisted after Hurricane Matthew pounded parts of Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Haiti and the Dominican Republic earlier this month.  

The Salvation Army dispatched 22 mobile feeding kitchens (canteens) in North and South Carolina, bringing a food, drinks, and a ray of hope to people impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Emergency response personnel were in in multiple locations along the Carolinas coast and eastern North Carolina—from Beaufort, SC to Elizabeth City, NC and east of I-95, as well as in key locations in Florida. Teams of Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers from every division in the Army’s Southern Territory served with local Salvation Army personnel in the impacted communities. In Florida alone, Salvationists served more than 80,000 meals, snacks and water to residents and first-responders in the days immediately after the storm.  

 SNAPSHOT OF SERVICES DELIVERED

  • 163,406 Meals
  • 164,215 Drinks
  • 174,653 Snacks
  • 1,655 Food Boxes
  • 90 Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens)
  • 1,118 Persons Sheltered
  • Emotional & Spiritual Care to 6,567 individuals
  • 2,202 cleanup kits
  • 1,994 comfort kits
  • 27,964 hours of employee and volunteer service

HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Salvation Army has been serving the people of Haiti since 1950 in 70 communities throughout the region, providing for basic needs such as food and shelter, as well as through educational, health, livelihoods, and community-focused programs. In all of this work, the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew is especially heartbreaking, given the extensive rebuilding and redevelopment projects that have been underway since an earthquake in 2011 caused widespread death and destruction to this poverty-stricken country. Regardless, Salvationists are committed to strengthen the recovery of the country and stand with its people in hope of a better future.

Community action teams (CATs) formed and trained in 60 communities after the 2010 earthquake are providing assistance at the point of need. Resources are hard to come by, but the CATs have been responding where they can. 

International assessment personnel have are assisting local teams, bringing additional resources to enhance the immediate relief effort and providing help with longer-term recovery options

In advance of Hurricane Matthew, Salvation Army schools and community centers opened throughout Haiti to host vulnerable individuals, many of who lost their roofs or entire homes.

The Army has also been providing food and support to those  forced from their homes, primarily in the areas of Croix-des-Bouquets (outside of Port-au-Prince), Luly, Petit Goâve, St Louis du Sud, Aquin, Fonds-des-Negres and La Fosse.

 An assessment team reported that the town of La Fosse is "overtaken by total disaster." Captain Pierre Gesner Aristhilde, corps officer (minister) at La Fosse Corps (church) told the visiting team that an 95 percent of the town's 4,500 inhabitants had been badly affected—infrastructure damaged, livestock killed, roofs torn off—with recovery hampered by a cholera outbreak which has already claimed the lives of several people from the town, including two Salvation Army soldiers. Eighty people are sheltered at the Salvation Army school building (35 children, 25 women and 20 men). Many others are living in their ruined houses. Captain Aristhilde says the community is in desperate need of food, drinking water, cholera treatment and materials to repair houses.

In Port-au-Prince, The Salvation Army's clinic has been treating those injured in the disaster.

Rice, oil, meat, beans and other basic food items are being distributed to those living in temporary shelters.

In the neighboring country of the Dominican Republic, (where The Salvation Army has officially been at work since 1995), about 50 homes were destroyed and 300 damaged by flooding in Espaillat Province when the Moca River overflowed, with a further 300 houses damaged. Some businesses were also lost and farmers were badly hit.

Community Action Teams trained to respond to disaster after the 2011 earthquake have mobilized to offer assistance and use limited resources as best they can.  

Representatives from the Army’s Moca Corps met with the civil protection chief, Ramon Andres Peña, to coordinate relief response.

The Salvation Army World Service Office is conducting an assessment of long-term project support that will help rebuild the lives and spirits of Haitians over the coming months and years, to include the provision of food and temporary housing, housing reconstruction, cholera prevention, and livelihoods support. 

More information and donation options available at www.salvationarmyusa.org

Sources include reports by Kelly Belich, Donald Felice, Major John Bundu and Salvation Army International Communicaitons Department. Find more stories and information at www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

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