More than 75 Salvation Army disaster workers join U.S. National Guard for PATRIOT North exercise.
VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Wis. (July 13, 2019) – The Salvation Army is deploying more than 75 personnel from the Midwest of the United States to Fort McCoy and Volk Field Air National Guard bases to join the National Guard Bureau and other organizations for a large-scale disaster exercise from July 15-19.
At PATRIOT North, the National Guard Bureau will emulate the circumstances of a Super Cell storm, with damage from heavy rain, high winds and flooding. The damage will include collapsed structures, contaminated areas, impacted infrastructure, inoperable communications, mass casualties, and the need for mass care and evacuation.
“This exercise will allow us to test and ensure The Salvation Army is ready to respond when Americans are struck by disaster and need our help,” Salvation Army spokesperson, Aux. Capt. John Gantner, said. “We will provide disaster response services that include sheltering, feeding and emotional and spiritual care.”
The Salvation Army will provide sheltering services to as many as 30 people at a time, while offering special needs care, family reunification support, hygiene kits, and food and hydration.
The Salvation Army will also provide 300-400 daily meals to exercise participants, which will be served by nine canteen crew members with four mobile kitchens, roving throughout the exercise area.
The total equipment deployed for the exercise will include four mobile kitchens, four Polaris units, one ice truck, two Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) vehicles and three Salvation Army command vehicles.
The Salvation Army’s unique disaster service is emotional and spiritual care (ESC). The role of ESC workers can be essential to the care of the whole person in disaster – the physical, emotional and spiritual. Eleven ESC workers will deploy and collaborate with military chaplains during the exercise.
SATERN plays a pivotal role in communications during disaster when telecommunications systems fail. SATERN will practice family reunifications and welfare checks, which are important during disasters when families try to reconnect and find out if their family members are well, but cannot communicate into the affected areas through regular communications channels.
The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit CentralUSASalvationArmy.org, where you can learn more, donate to support disaster response and sign up to volunteer. You can also sign up for disaster updates at Disaster.SalvationArmyUSA.org.