Chattanooga Salvation Army on standby to help with relief in Alabama
Authorities in Alabama say at least tornadoes killed at least 23 people.
As search and rescue efforts continue, the Salvation Army in Chattanooga is on standby to help those affected. Spokeswoman Kimberly George says they got a call from their headquarters Monday morning. They have been on standby ever since. Once they get the green light, they will have 24 hours to prepare and head out to Alabama.
This comes days after the Chattanooga team responded to flooding throughout Tennessee Valley.
“Anytime we see devastation like this first and foremost we pray because we've been there,” said George.
Now they are gearing up to help with another natural disaster more than 200 miles away. Officials are calling it the deadliest tornado outbreak in the U.S. since 2013.
So far Salvation Army teams in Alabama have at least four mobile kitchen units on the ground and have served more than 200 meals to first responders and residents, but George says they were told to get ready. Now Chattanooga is preparing to send a team of four or five trained officers and volunteers with their own mobile kitchen.
“It needs to be ready to serve about 500. we say that that's a good first start and then once you get there they're already collecting the resources and procuring those so that we can restock the mobile kitchen,” said George. “We are there to just talk with them pray with them if they like for us to, but also make sure they are hydrating and feeding themselves because often times when you've lost everything or you're in a situation like that you neglect yourself.”
It is a heartbreaking reality George says many will face, but not alone.
“We are praying for the Salvation Army, for the victims of the tornadoes, their families, emergency management. There is a lot of moving pieces right now when a storm like that hits.”
If you'd like to help the salvation army team prepare for a possible trip to Alabama, they are in need of bottled water. You can drop them off at 800 McCallie Avenue. You can also give monetary donations directly to those affected in Alabama. You will have to include where you would like your donation to go to. For more information, click here.