IRMA: Just returned from Harvey, FL Salvation Army gears for Irma

By Katie Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, September 07, 2017, 5:06 PM EDT

Florida Salvation Army staff just back from Texas and Hurricane Harvey geared up on Sept. 7 for a new mission, this time in their home state.

  • Salvation Army members spent 9 days in TX
  • SA Field Kitchen can produce up to 20,000 meals a day
  • More information: Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org 

As Irma continued its approach to the Sunshine State, Salvation Army staff and volunteers started packing supplies and preparing their mobile field kitchens to help areas impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Emergency Services Director Kevin Smith just spent the past nine days in Texas, and is now gearing up for another difficult stretch.

"I'll tell you what keeps me going is, while this is a very hard, overwhelming job, it's the hope and watching people come together to support each other," Smith said.

Smith and other team members have been loading pallets filled with cases of water, pre-prepared meals, and other supplies into giant trucks and mobile canteens that will be shipped out to affected areas. Just one of the Salvation Army’s Field Kitchens can produce up to 20,000 meals a day.

Crews agreed with Smith -- it’s a tough job, but the rewards outweigh the sacrifice and they’re always there to help whoever and wherever needs it.

"The Salvation Army has had to handle multiple disasters at the same time on many occasions so we're ready we didn't send all of our assets to Texas so we’re prepared," Area Commander Captain Andy Miller said.

The Florida Division is also preparing its homeless shelter in downtown Tampa for those displaced by the storm. They’ll be adding extra beds in anticipation of increased need.

The Salvation Army is still in need of financial donations in order to buy supplies. For more information: call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org