Gonzales, LA (September 28, 2021) – While serving in a disaster, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services has anywhere from 10 to 30 vehicles working the area most affected. In cases like Hurricane Harvey, up to 107 units served the survivors from the storm. With the help of the US Fleet Tracking system, every vehicle can be monitored and viewed on a live map.
The Salvation Army began using the US Fleet Tracking system in 2018 when Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina. Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director of Texas, said, “It was extremely beneficial at the beginning of our response in Wilmington and its surrounding counties because so many roads were closed from flooding and downed trees. Because of the tracking devices, we could see exactly where our teams were and re-route them safely to reach people who needed our help.”
Emergency Disaster vehicles typically have volunteers and staff serving who are not from the area or even the state. Having the ability to view the entire fleet at a glance ensures management can assist the drivers as needed. The information can also be shared with other partner agencies, allowing them to view all of the service locations of The Salvation Army units. They can decide what areas have not been helped yet and get to those survivors as well.
While serving during Hurricane Ida, the GPS tracking system has saved countless hours for EDS teams heading into devastating areas while dealing with the unexpected. “Units have called lost as they try and navigate the detours and other variables of the road, but we’ve been able to guide our driver’s turn-by-turn onto new and safe routes,” said Jimmy Stanford, Emergency Services Manager of Texas. “We had 21 vehicles at the start of Hurricane Ida, and today we have eight serving in Southern Louisiana. It is vital as we plan and manage the needs of each neighborhood and can easily view on the map if we are missing a certain location. It is also crucial to our Incident Management Team, logging into the app and viewing where every unit is serving, which is key to a day of successful service delivery.”
The mobile units from the Gonzales Incident Command Center have served 286,896 meals, 126,756 drinks, and 95,820 snacks. The emotional and spiritual care team has made connections with 20,906 since 8/31/21. In addition to the mobile feeding units, 7,051 cleanup kits, 6,985 hygiene kits, and 6,708 food boxes have been distributed.
To make a financial donation to support ongoing Hurricane Ida relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx.