Tennessee Tornadoes: First Contact Brings Help and Hope to Survivors of the Storm

On March 4th, the day after tornadoes ripped a 50-mile path of destruction through Middle TN, our disaster response units were making plans for where to head out to serve hot meals to our neighbors who were in the hardest-hit areas when a call came in from a partner agency telling us of a neighborhood in Hermitage that had reached out about needing some food and water.

Our unit immediately headed out to that area, and reached the Hermitage Flats Apartments, in time for lunch service. The complex had just missed being hit by the tornado but was without electricity and had been told it would be 3 or 4 more days before it could be turned back on.

As soon as we arrived the residents including children, senior citizens, and disabled soon formed a line to receive a hot meal of spaghetti, green beans, and garlic bread. “Thank you” and “God Bless You” were heard in a constant chorus.

That’s when Renée came up to the line and asked if she could get a meal. As she was passing by Misty Ratcliff, Salvation Army Public Information Officer, Renée suddenly said “I need a hug” as she broke down in tears. Misty quickly wrapped her in her arms and held her in a long hug. Renée shared how our Salvation Army team were the first outsiders she had seen since the tornado. She said that everything was so quiet the day after the storm, and she hadn’t slept the night before for fear. Misty brought Renée to Darrell Short, a case manager for The Salvation Army but also a minister in his community church. Darrell was able to pray with Renée for peace and the calm to settle her soul.

A short while later, Liz came up to the line and said she had been the one to contact our partner agency seeking assistance for her neighbors. She said she was so thankful for us coming so quickly. Liz then shared a more immediate concern for her health. She was diabetic and her insulin was going on 36 hours without refrigeration. She was worried about what she was going to do since the power wouldn’t be back on for days. Misty quickly took her information and passed it to the Office of Emergency Management who were able to work with another community partner to secure a hotel room with a refrigerator for Liz to stay in until her unit’s power was restored.

Salvation Army EDS teams are here to support our community however they need, be it a hot meal, a warm hug, a prayer or assistance accessing partners and information to provide life-saving resources to our neighbors.

The Salvation Army has been serving in Middle Tennessee for 130 years, and we will continue to be there, in our community, to help all of our neighbors, like Angela and Suzan, reach stronger futures.

Financial donations are the best way to meet the evolving needs and to support relief efforts.  The Salvation Army asks those who want to help the individuals and families affected by disaster to visit www.HelpSalvationArmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate “disaster efforts.”  Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted most.   For the latest Salvation Army disaster response news from across the country visit www.SalArmyEDS.org

                                                                 

Day 11 of Disaster Relief Efforts – The Salvation Army Plans to Adjust Feeding Operations for upcoming Weekend

NASHVILLE, TN – March 13, 2020  – The Salvation Army in Nashville is preparing to shift from fixed meal sites at the Disaster Resource Centers to units roving in the communities beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020, as another weekend of volunteers are expected to stream into the communities to continue to help survivors continue clean-up and repairs.

“We want to make sure we are where the need is greatest, and knowing that many in the community will be active in the hardest-hit areas, we feel that bringing our mobile units to them will be more efficient for everyone,” states Major Stephen Story, Incident Commander. “We will have meals available, but also plenty of drinks and snacks for those who are working on cleanup efforts.” Our volunteers and staff will also be providing emotional and spiritual care to anyone who needs it.

The Salvation Army will be at the fixed meal sites from noon until 6pm today, Friday, March 13th.

To date, The Salvation Army has served 16,709 meals along with 9,694 snacks and 7,494 beverages.  Over 2,548 individuals have received personal prayer support.

Frontline Services on March 13: The Salvation Army will have 8 Mobile Units, each capable of serving up to 1500 meals a day, throughout the 3 county area. Along with caring for the physical needs of our neighbors, The Salvation Army will have 16 officers, who are pastors, that can provide Emotional and Spiritual Care.

For those in need:  

The Salvation Army will be serving meals, beverages and emotional and spiritual care with serving times beginning at 12:00pm and 4:00pm in the following areas through Friday evening:

East Nashville – The East Recreation Center located at 700 Woodland Street

North Nashville and Germantown Areas- Hadley Park Community Center

Hermitage/ Donelson Areas – 3720 James Kay Lane at the Hermitage Community Center

Mt. Juliet – Roaming teams will be serving throughout the neighborhoods.

Lebanon – Roaming teams will be serving throughout the neighborhoods.

Putnam County- Roaming teams will be serving throughout the neighborhoods.

The Salvation Army will be transitioning to all roving units in all counties beginning Saturday to better serve the survivors and volunteers as they continue their cleanup efforts.

                                                               

Day 10 of Disaster Relief Efforts –

NASHVILLE, TN – March 12, 2020 – The Salvation Army is preparing their units, staff and volunteers to serve the community today through the severe weather forecast for this afternoon and evening.

“We know that anxiety for the survivors of last week’s storm will be at heightened levels today due to the increased chances of severe weather, including the potential for more tornadoes,” said Major Stephen Story, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army. “We want to make sure that our teams are fully prepared to provide the emotional and spiritual care to our neighbors that they made need.”

The Salvation Army encourages everyone to review their emergency plans with their families and double-check their emergency supplies today before the storms arrive. Everyone should:

Identify the safe space to go to in your workplace and your home in case a tornado warning is issued. Stock this space with flashlights, bottled water, snacks, etc.
Make sure you have a weather radio with fresh batteries, or that your phone is fully charged throughout the day so that you can receive any weather alerts.
Monitor your local weather throughout the day to see where the storms are, and when they may be in your area.
If a tornado warning is issued, go immediately to your safe place and monitor the weather via your phone or weather radio until the all-clear is given for your community.
To date, The Salvation Army has served 6,295 meals along with 9,255 snacks and 7,177 beverages. Over 1,377 individuals have received personal prayer support.

Frontline Services on March 12: The Salvation Army will have 8 Mobile Units, each capable of serving up to 1500 meals a day, throughout the 3 county area. Along with caring for the physical needs of our neighbors, The Salvation Army will have 16 officers, who are pastors, that can provide Emotional and Spiritual Care.

For those in need:

The Salvation Army will be serving meals, beverages and emotional and spiritual care with serving times beginning at 12:00pm and 4:00pm in the following areas through Friday evening:

East Nashville – The East Recreation Center located at 700 Woodland Street

North Nashville and Germantown Areas- Hadley Park Community Center

Hermitage/ Donelson Areas – 3720 James Kay Lane at the Hermitage Community Center and a roaming team in this community.

Mt. Juliet – Roaming teams will be serving throughout the neighborhoods.

Lebanon – Roaming teams will be serving throughout the neighborhoods.

Putnam County- Roaming teams will be serving throughout the neighborhoods.

The Salvation Army will be transitioning to all roving units in all counties beginning Saturday to better serve the survivors and volunteers as they continue their cleanup efforts.

How neighbors can help:

Financial Contributions are needed and most efficient. A cash donation allows charitable relief agencies to use monetary contributions to purchase exactly what disaster survivors need. Monetary contributions are also easy to get to the disaster area. One hundred percent of a disaster donation to The Salvation Army is used for disaster relief efforts for that event. Supplies can almost always be purchased locally at the disaster site and provide savings in multiple ways. Money used to purchase needed items locally can support local and state economies, helping local businesses and workers, which have suffered losses in the wake of the disaster event.

If you would like to support efforts, please visit this link to donate. For the latest updates on our disaster relief efforts, visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

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