NEW YEAR, NEW HOPE, NEW CHALLENGES: A Blog Series
This entry is from Anthony DiStefano, Director of the Midland Divsion’s Emergency Disaster Services
The April floods of the Mississippi River in Southeastern Missouri stretching from Cape from Girardeau to New Madrid; the floods of the same month of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in both Southwestern and Southeastern Illinois encompassing the entire lower portion of the State from Chester to Shawneetown; the Missouri tornados in Sunset Hills and Sedalia; the flooding of the Missouri River in July of the northeastern portion of the state all the way to the interior of the state at Washington; about three dozen auto accidents; an almost endless parade of residential and business fires; and the devastating Joplin tornado: The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) department of the Midland Division was present at all of these events.
I expect 2012 to be much the same.
Canteens, trailers, communications equipment, food, beverages, clothing, temporary housing, organization, discipline, motivation, and the most important ingredient of all, the life-blood of The Salvation Army’s EDS department – our volunteers.
Even though each and every disaster is unique in its own right, the variables for dealing with each disaster change very little, and the goals never change.
The goal we are all striving for in the EDS department is getting as much help and support as quickly as possible to as many men, women and children affected by the disaster they are currently living through.
To have the EDS department prepared to meet any disaster, I have instituted monthly training across the Midland Division and in every Corps and Service Extension unit; required new crews to be formed in all Corps and Service Extension units and to work in tandem with existing crews from the same areas; begun to refurbish all canteens, vehicles and trailers, and replace those that have seen enough service already; started to acquire new, more powerful and farther-reaching communication equipment; instituted a recognition program for our volunteers, who are as I said earlier, the life-blood of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services department. This is all done with the one goal in mind: Doing The Most Good.