Tag Archives: emergency

Answering the Call: Salvation Army EDS in 2012

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.

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Winter Weather Preparedness

A message from our Emergency Disaster Services Department

When the temperatures drop in Missouri and Southern Illinois, the region often deals with an assortment of winter weather concerns – from ice and snow to extreme cold. In recent St. Louis winters, we have seen massive icing and widespread power outages throughout the area.

In addition to staying indoors as much as possible to reduce the risk of accidents and exposure to extreme cold, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services wants to share with you other steps you can take to be adequately prepared for the sudden effects of winter weather:

  1. Prepare a winter weather nourishment survival kit for your home, including food that is edible without cooking or refrigeration such as breads, cereals, crackers, canned goods and dehydrated fruits and meats. If you have young children in the home, be sure to stock baby food and formula. Additionally, store 5 gallons of clean water per person in case your water pipes freeze or rupture. Put back extra medicines that any family member may need as well.
  2. Plan for an alternate heat source in the event of a power failure, and stock the fuel – dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove or kerosene for a kerosene heater. If you intend to rely on an electric space heater, you’ll want to secure and test a generator for a power supply.
  3. Set aside odds and ends to address cold, snow and ice, such as shovels, rock salt, blankets, matches, flashlights.
  4. If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected annually and be certain to have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide in good working order.
  5. Prepare your car for winter by having the radiator system serviced; replacing windshield-wiper fluid with a winter mix and replacing any worn tires. Don’t forget to check tire pressure as tires can get low with temperature fluctuations! Keep items such as blankets,first aid kits, windshield scrapers, road maps, sand or cat litter, canned foods and flash lights on hand in case you find yourself stranded.

A prayer for Joplin

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

In June of this year, members of a Christian art ministry from Kansas City came to Joplin in the days after the historic May 22 storm to find a way that they could give back to those who were impacted by the storm. With little more to offer than their compassion and talents, the group felt led by God to bring a sense of hope to the people of Joplin.

Using their God-given talents, these individuals and many other volunteer artists worked for several months and created a large-scale living memorial to the City of Joplin. The memorial was created for the wreckage of The Salvation Army’s thrift store that was demolished by the storm in May. The 17 foot long by 9 foot tall multi-media piece shows the city resting in the hands of God.

 The “Hope Memorial” was unveiled on Sunday in Joplin at a worship ceremony at the Joplin Family Worship Center. It was dedicated to the City of Joplin and given to The Salvation Army for safe-keeping. Those who attended the unveiling were invited to submit a prayer into the back of the memorial piece where it would remain permanently. They also contributed a painted thumbprint to the multimedia mural.

Salvation Army Lieutenant James Curry and Major Richard Herivel both took part in the ceremony.

“Both had powerful and encouraging messages to say to the people of Joplin,” says Kristin Morris of Set Apart, “The piece itself turned out better than we could have ever imagined! God really had his handon this. It was an indescribable blessing to be able to create this permanent and visual reminder of hope for the people of Joplin. We pray that its presence in Joplin will always remind the people there that He can take the ugliness of disaster and turn it into something beautiful.”

The piece will be on display at the Joplin Family Worship Center through November 21st, and then transferred to The Salvation Army. Supporters are encouraged to visit the Joplin Family Worship Center to view and contribute to this living piece.

Salvation Army among seven non-profits to receive $1.1 million in tax credit assistance

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced today that The Salvation Army and six other area non-profits have been approved for more than $1.1 million in tax credit assistance through its Neighborhood Assistance Program, with additional credits to be announced in another round later this year.

The Salvation Army was approved for $150,000 in tax credits under the program to benefits its Harbor Light Job Training Program and the O’Fallon (Mo.) Emergency Shelter. The Harbor Light program provides job training, life skills seminars, housing, work opportunities and case management to homeless men working to establish and maintain sobriety. The O’Fallon Emergency Shelter, which is regularly at maximum capacity, works to provide shelter, resource assistance, client counseling, money management training and employment assistance for women and children in crisis.

The Center for Head Injury Services, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri, Missouri Energycare Inc., Our Little Haven, Peter and Paul Community Services Inc., and St. Patrick Center join The Salvation Army on the list of approved agencies.

Creating an emergency disaster kit

By: Anthony DiStefano, Emergency Services Director, Midland Division

Tornados, earthquakes, floods, civil unrest, and the list goes on.  Whatever the disaster may be, you may need to survive on your own once a disaster strikes. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least four days. Relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Help may come in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, weeks, or even longer.

Recommended Items in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water. One gallon of water per person per day for at least four days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food. At least a four-day supply of non-perishable food. Can opener.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio with extra batteries.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dustmask to filter contaminated air.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  •  Local maps.
  • Cell phone with chargers.
  • Prescription medications, aspirins and glasses.
  • Infant formula and diapers.
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change.
  • Important documents (or copies) of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. Include paper and pencil.
  • Emergency reference material.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted 9 parts water to 1 part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant.
  • Fire Extinguisher. Knife.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.

 Have these items ready, and you can be ready for anything!

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