The Salvation Army deploys to serve at Eastland County fires in Texas
By: Philip Burn
As multiple wildfires burn in and around Eastland County, about 140 miles west of Dallas, The Salvation Army’s Texas Division has deployed personnel and equipment to support first responders and survivors.
As the week continued, response efforts to the growing fires intensified and, on Friday afternoon, volunteers from The Salvation Army’s Brownwood Service Center deployed at the request of the Eastland City Manager. More than 24 cases of water, 24 cases of Gatorade, 20 boxes of peanut butter crackers, and 35 cases of cookies were delivered and made available to first responders and impacted residents.
In addition, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team delivered a 30-foot commercial kitchen to the affected area.
“We are working closely with state and local authorities, along with long-time disaster response partners the Southern Baptist Texas Convention,” said Alvin Migues, The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster services director in Texas. “We have established a base camp and kitchen site at the request of the Texas Department of Emergency Management where we will feed first responders. We anticipate serving as many as 300 firefighters three times each day.”
Volunteers from the Hood County Service Unit are working with Mission Granbury to help set up an emergency shelter for residents evacuating from affected areas. The Salvation Army’s EDS team is sending cots, water, and hygiene items to the shelter.
“Partnerships are consistently important in any disaster response, and we work to communicate quickly and efficiently with all state and local government in addition to other agencies active in disaster,” Migues said. “We have long had a great understanding with Baptist teams who in this case will come in and operate the kitchen. There are times in large scale disaster response efforts where our mobile feeding units will load up and deliver hot food prepared exclusively from a mobile Baptist commercial kitchen. It’s quite the operation.”
Additional personnel will join The Salvation Army staff and volunteers already serving from the divisional disaster services team, service extension team, and The Salvation Army’s Abilene Corps. Fires continue to burn, fueled by unfavorable weather conditions, and several additional areas in Central Texas have been evacuated. Wildfires began on Thursday and have so far burned more than 54,0000 acres, destroyed multiple homes and are threatening several communities.
For updated disaster response information or to make a donation, visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.