The Salvation Army in The Bahamas has started relief efforts while continuing to plan for entry into Grand Bahama and Abaco.
Nassau, The Bahamas – Majors Clarence and Karen Ingram, and their staff, are actively setting up relief efforts as the first of the evacuees begin arriving from Abaco. In Nassau the efforts are focused on preparing Salvation Army shelters for occupancy as evacuees arrive, receiving and sorting clothing items for distribution and meeting with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and visiting government shelters to assess needs both in Nassau and the devastated northern Bahamas islands.
The Salvation Army corps (church) on Eleuthera island is also ready to receive evacuees as they arrive.
The Salvation Army corps in Freeport was partially damaged in the Hurricane, but they are operational with a working generator, a functioning kitchen and a supply of food. Their biggest challenge is transport as most of the Grand Bahama island is still flooded with a second challenge of having sufficient supplies and staff to meet the burgeoning need on the island. Major Sumter, the officer in charge in Freeport reports that the shelters are all over capacity but that transportation is limited to large machinery and jet skis tasked for rescue efforts. As soon as they are able, the staff and volunteers in Freeport will be preparing meals for distribution to the shelters.
Back in Nassau, Majors Ingram are viewing this disaster not only in terms of the immediate response to immediate needs, but also planning for a long-term response to this catastrophic event.
To support Salvation Army disaster relief efforts in the Bahamas, please consider making a financial contribution at helpsalvationarmy.org or by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY.