The Salvation Army Prepares for Hurricane Ian as Fiona Relief Continues

Staff Report

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

The Salvation Army is preparing resources and personnel to meet the immediate needs of survivors and first responders ahead of Hurricane Ian's potentially historic landfall in Florida. Ian comes just days after Hurricane Fiona ravaged Puerto Rico, where The Salvation Army is still serving survivors and first responders.

Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm the night of Wednesday, Sept. 28, on the west coast of Florida. If Hurricane Ian stays on its projected path, it will mark the first direct impact of a hurricane in the area since 1921. Main concerns include a heavy storm surge leading to severe flooding conditions along the coastline. With the entire state of Florida now under a state of emergency and about 1 million residents planning to evacuate ahead of landfall, The Salvation Army is positioning resources and personnel to respond to widespread need as efficiently as possible.

"We are carefully monitoring Hurricane Ian and have mobile feeding units and disaster response teams along the Florida coast prepared to respond," said Major Todd Hawks, Community Relations and Development secretary for The Salvation Army's USA Southern Territory. "This storm has the potential to bring impacts to the west coast of Florida not seen for nearly a century — if ever. With the public's generous support, we will be able to serve this community for as long as we are needed." 

On the second front of the recent explosion of hurricane activity, The Salvation Army is continuing to meet the needs of Hurricane Fiona survivors and first responders in Puerto Rico by providing a wide range of emergency services. Many of the communities being served are the same ones who have been dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria which made landfall five years ago.

"Disaster relief is always about the long game," said Bob Myers, Emergency Disaster Services director for The Salvation Army's USA Eastern Territory. "It's about helping people to get their houses and their communities rebuilt. It's also about providing long-term emotional and spiritual care to disaster survivors as much as we can, because sometimes the recovery on the inside can be harder than the recovery on the outside."