August 25 marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall on Texas’s Gulf Coast. The hurricane sat over Southern Texas, dumping between 20 and 60 inches of rain in a matter of days and raising flood levels to nearly 10 feet in some places. Wind gusts topped 132 miles per hour along the coast. Whole towns were destroyed and millions of lives were impacted. Hurricane Harvey caused more than $125 billion in damage, tying with Hurricane Katrina as the costliest storm in U.S. history.
The Salvation Army was on the ground before the storm, preparing for the services that would no doubt be needed once the historic storm came ashore. Immediately preparations were made across the country to send in additional staff and volunteers to meet the needs, including food, beverages, comfort, clothing, shelter, showers, and more.
As Harvey started moving back into the ocean, the Army set up mobile feeding units, each serving 1,500 meals a day. We provided clean up kits, food boxes and hygiene products. Staff and volunteers went street by street, house by house throughout the affected areas to do well-being checks and provide resources to survivors. Survivors who wanted to leave were provided transportation to safety.
All in all, the Army:
- Deployed 96 mobile feeding units
- Served more than 2.8 million meals, drinks and snacks
- Provided emotional and spiritual care to more than 57,000 people
- Provided more than 400,000 hours of employee and volunteer service
Once the immediate response activities were completed, The Salvation Army prepared for long-term recovery which included moving support services back to the local Army office. This next phase provides help with rebuilding; accessing local, state and federal disaster benefits; and long-range planning. The Army is still serving those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and expects to continue disaster recovery support for nearly a decade.
Donor support of The Salvation Army emergency disaster service programs is essential. One hundred percent of money donated goes directly to disaster support and training, allowing staff and volunteers to respond almost immediately when called upon and serve those in need. Learn more about The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster services and how you can help.