Salvation Army of Southern California

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Emergency Services - EDS

Images from Salvation Army Emergency Disaster history

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.