As Tropical Storm Isaac slowly moves northward through Louisiana, Salvation Army personnel are in impacted regions along the Gulf Coast. The storm, which made landfall as a hurricane, has caused significant flooding throughout the region including in Plaquemines Parish, about 50 miles southeast of New Orleans. The Salvation Army has been providing food and hydration to residents of Florida and will deploy mobile kitchens along the Gulf Coast.
“With the amount of rain and flooding that Tropical Storm Isaac has produced in Gulf Coast communities, we expect there to be a high level of need throughout the region,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the United States. “Our mobile kitchens and staff are strategically positioned and already beginning to move into impacted regions.”
In coastal communities, The Salvation Army is also seeing an increase of homeless people in the area looking for a safe place to sleep due to Isaac. In New Orleans, Pascagoula, MS and Mobile, AL, Salvation Army homeless shelters are filled to maximum capacity. For many of the homeless, the threat of Isaac brings with it memories of previous storms, including Hurricane Katrina.
For the homeless filling shelters and other community members in need of support, The Salvation Army has personnel onsite, trained to provide spiritual and emotional care on the front lines during and after the storm. The Salvation Army’s ministry of presence provides compassionate care to residents looking for hope in the midst of turmoil. Pastoral care is available for all those impacted, but is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance.
“During a hurricane or other disaster, residents are often looking for someone to talk to or even a shoulder to cry on,” said Major Hood. “We know that our role is not only to meet the needs of the individual physically, but also the emotional and spiritual needs that can come with stressful times.”
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Tropical Storm Isaac, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusa or www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.