WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Hurricane Harvey saw the biggest deployment of Salvation Army volunteers since Hurricane Katrina just 12 years ago.
Now, Triad volunteers are preparing to head to areas, devastated by Hurricane Irma. In the next couple days, they’ll meet up to figure where to go in Florida.
The Salvation Army in the Triad already has a few people in South Carolina, with one of the commanders currently in Charleston, where some of the worst flash flooding has occurred in the past 24 hours.
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Once deciding where they need to go – workers will provide food and water for survivors and first responders. Volunteers already took down a canteen, or food truck, to South Carolina. It can provide 1,500 meals per day.
But arguably more important? A shoulder to lean on.
“Everyone is physically and emotionally drained,” said Bob Campbell with the Winston-Salem Salvation Army, “The survivors are emotionally drained. A comforting prayer or a hand to hold, or someone to hug…that can be immeasurably worthwhile”
Campbell calls the back to back deadly hurricanes unprecedented, even for an organization that routinely responds to disaster.
“This is an all hands-on-deck situation. Following up on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, now with hurricane Irma…Hurricane Harvey is the largest Salvation Army activation since Katrina. With that and Irma back to back to like this, we are drawing on Salvation Army resources from every division in the nation,” he said.
The volunteers plan to be in Florida for up to 14 days, before they're relieved by other Salvation Army Volunteers.