Abilene's Salvation Army on standby for Hurricane Harvey


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Those heading south to help prepare for the wake of Hurricane Harvey are the brave volunteers and emergency response teams that  have been deployed across the state.

Several Salvation Army units are apart of this.

"They are currently cooking meals and getting all that prepared. They're helping the first responders go door-to-door and get people out of their homes so they get to a safe place," Public Relations for the Abilene Salvation Army Shelley Futrelle said.

Other units, including the one in Abilene, are now on standby as Hurricane Harvey approaches the Texas coast.

The Abilene Salvation Army is ready to hit the ground running.

"The sense of fulfillment that a volunteer gets is immeasurable," Futrelle said. "Whatever we need to do, we'll do," Futrelle said.

Hurricane Harvey is expected to impact millions of Texans.

"Right now, we have three crews and we kind of do a round-robbin kind of thing, so we're not burning them out. If I put out the call right now, I probably will have 25 people, 30 people ready to go down with me," she said.

Twenty-seven of their Salvation Army Mobile Canteen trucks are on standby as well.

"We stay ready for whatever gets us and we use it a lot in the community as well, but it's real purpose is to do these kinds of disasters, Futrelle said. "And we're self-sufficient in the thing, we could stay for days. We have a fully-functioning kitchen, ovens, drinks, refrigerators. You name it, we've got it."

Futrelle said along with the canteen trucks, they are ready to assist wherever and however they are needed. In addition to the mobile kitchens, the Salvation army also operates a laundry unit.

"The Salvation Army mobile kitchens are one of the first response vehicles to arrive on the scene following a disaster," said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director for the Salvation Army in Texas.

"It might be where we're putting band-aids on cuts, it might be that we're helping a lost person find their loved-ones. We'll be serving meals, certainly because that's what we're known for. We'll be helping the first responders. We come in and help set up the area, and we get things under control and help them out as well because they're running 50 different ways," she said.

The Salvation Army is no stranger to disaster zones and while they will not know how much aid is needed until Harvey arrives, the Salvation Army will be there, lending a hand to the victims left in his wake.

"We worked Katrina, we worked 9/11, we worked Oklahoma bombings. We've done it all and those are sad situations but we're always there ready to help."

The Salvation Army will also have clergy on-site.

"The Salvation Army, all of their officers are clergy or ordained ministers so we always have our clergy and our ministers there do deal with some of the spiritual aspect and some of the heartbreak that come with losing a home or can't find a loved-one, etc," Futrelle said.

To donate to the relief efforts, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go online to www.helpsalvationarmy.org

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