MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama groups are gearing up to help Florida on its road to recovery from Hurricane Ian.
37 mobile units from the Salvation Army are positioned to move into Florida to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
The Corps Administrator for Montgomery and surrounding counties Major Harvey Johnson says once it’s safe to get around, these trucks will serve between 1,000 and 1,500 hot meals a day. But they’re not bringing just food and water.
“We bring staff that have been trained in the areas of emotional and spiritual support so we can bring some level of comfort and interaction and hope to people that have gone through a very difficult time,” Johnson said.
Johnson has seen the devastation these storms can bring firsthand; He was on the ground in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He hopes the Salvation Army’s assistance can make things just a little bit better.
“When we roll in to provide these services, the biggest thing we’re offering to people is hope that we’re all going to make it through this, and the sun is going to shine again on another day,” Johnson said.
Johnson says volunteers are already there but financial donations are needed to keep operations running. If you can’t give money, Melinda Hinds with LifeSouth encourages donating blood.
“We know that that need is going to be there. They are not able to have blood drives. Their donor centers aren’t open,” Hinds said.
Hinds is expecting calls any minute now from Florida hospitals in need.
“We are going to be working extra hours and calling as many donors as we can that have not donated recently in 56 days or so to please come in, find a blood drive near you, or come into our donor center so we can answer that need,” Hinds said.
Johnson says when the Salvation Army shows up somewhere, they’re typically there about 10 days. He says they’re prepared to have boots on the ground in Florida possibly for months.