Tornadoes batter nation, Salvation Army stands firm

Many homes in Tuscaloosa, Ala., have been severely damaged. The Salvation Army is going into neighborhoods ensuring that people are safe. Photo by Chris Golden

The Salvation Army continues its tornado emergency disaster response.


By Buffy Lincoln

Nationwide, The Salvation Army responded in May and June as a series of tornadoes ripped through several regions of the U.S., leaving a trail of destruction and devastation in the South, Midwest and Northeast.

On May 10, the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army responded to multiple areas in Oklahoma where tornadoes touched down. Six mobile and hydration units were dispatched to bring relief to victims and first responders.

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) is helping survivors locate family and loved ones with its ham radio service. The Central Oklahoma Area Command is posting regular online updates to Twitter.

Tornadoes hit Kansas and Missouri on May 21-22. The Salvation Army was the first relief agency on the scene—immediately deploying four mobile feeding units, which served meals, snacks and cold drinks to more than 250 people. At least six canteens continue to feed survivors throughout Joplin, Mo., and the Army is offering emotional and spiritual care.

To date, The Salvation Army has fed at least 7,500 responders and victims in Kansas and Missouri. Caseworkers are providing financial aid to help with immediate needs such as food, clothing, medicine, shelter, bedding and baby products. Kansas City Television station KSHB-TV supported the Army’s efforts with a weeklong phone marathon.

Sedalia, Mo., was hit on May 25. One refectory from the Kansas City team was sent to feed and assist victims and volunteers.

The Army immediately responded to north Minneapolis (Minn.) on June 1 when a twister left at least four dead in its path. An Army mobile kitchen served 3,300 meals and refreshments—more than 800 on the day of the calamity.

Accustomed to an occasional hurricane, Massachusetts was in shock when a tornado struck the Springfield area on June 1. The Army has provided over 1,800 meals and 200 cots to victims and first responders.

Destruction in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Photo by Jason Koenig

Alabama is slowly recovering from the treacherous tornado that hit on April 27. The Army’s properties in Tuscaloosa were completely destroyed; however, Salvationists continued offering support even though their own facilities were gone. Emergency Disaster Services personnel continue to meet the emotional, material and spiritual needs of the survivors there.

Thirty-eight mobile feeding units and one shower trailer currently serve Alabama and Mississippi, reinforced by units from Florida and Georgia.

The destruction from the April 27 tornado is still evident. Relief efforts remain in force and the Army continues to ask for donations.

The Salvation Army will continue to provide assistance where needed, as resources allow.

To donate to The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, please visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Keep up with the Army’s latest national news at

Read first-hand accounts of Western Territory Salvation Army volunteers serving in Alabama at New Frontier online: A list of the Western Territory volunteers serving at the disaster sites is also online.

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