Since The Salvation Army started its work in the
United States in 1899, we have provided relief to individuals and
communities affected by disaster. The first major disaster to which The
Salvation Army responded was a hurricane that hit the city of Galveston,
TX in 1900. The Salvation Army has since honored this more than
century-old commitment to serve those in need during times of disaster.
In 1970, federal law reaffirmed The Salvation Army's authority to
provide disaster assistance with the passage of the Robert T. Stafford
Emergency and Disaster Assistance Act.
Over the years The Salvation Army has been involved
in several massive relief operations. In 1993 when the Mississippi River
and its tributaries overflowed in six mid-western states The Salvation
Army organized Operation Noah's Ark, a long-term recovery project which
became a model for the nation. Other extensive responses have included
several southern California earthquakes which have required large-scale
sheltering and feeding; Hurricane Andrew that affected the Florida and
Louisiana coastlines in 1992; the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995; the
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; a series of major hurricanes in
the southeast during 2004 culminating in Katrina and Rita in 2005.
The Salvation Army has been involved in many
international relief operations including responses to an immense
earthquake in Kobe, Japan; the 1995 war in Rwanda; the 1996 war in
Bosnia; 1998 hurricanes in the Caribbean and Central America; the 2002
famine in Sub-Sahara Africa; in Iraq during the second Gulf War; across
Southeast Asia in response to the catastrophic tsunami.
Salvation Army staff and volunteers provide food and
beverages, clothing, shelter, pastoral counseling along with a variety
of other services. Our commitment to service assures that people receive
practical, emotional and spiritual support during times of disaster,
wherever the need.