Salvation Army ready for hurricane season after trainings
The Salvation Army, along with the Bureau for Emergency and Disaster Management (NMEAD, in Spanish) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a series of workshops to strengthen the nonprofit’s emergency management skills in the face of the hurricane season underway.
“The workshop presented the different events that can occur during a hurricane season, from a natural or man-made disaster, how to detect and act correctly in dangerous situations, save the lives of family members, community members and workplaces,” said Mauricio Rivera, the NMEAD’ director of response.
The Salvation Army’s Disaster Emergency Management and Operations Center has an industrial kitchen that will allow for the feeding of 360,000 people per month in emergency situations, at a rate of 12,000 people per day. From the center, all efforts will be coordinated to provide help to the communities.
The 15,500 square foot warehouse located in Caguas will serve as the main distribution center for the entire island. The storage facilities will receive, sort, and distribute a variety of foods and supplies such as: baby items, hygiene products, water, clothing, mattresses, awnings and in some cases, furniture to help survivors of an emergency, nonprofit officials said.
“In addition, [there are] units with food that are prepared to respond and assist rescuers and survivors in the event of a disaster, drinking water tank, diesel tank, electric generator, and satellite phones. We urge everybody to prepare and have an action plan ready for any storm,” said Major Juan Mercado, the Salvation Army’s divisional commander for Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, Orlando Olivera, coordinator of the FEMA Caribbean Office in Puerto Rico, recognized the Salvation Army’s work to provide aid in Puerto Rico and in the US mainland.
“Several times during the past 30 years in which FEMA has maintained a permanent presence in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, we’ve joined forces with the Salvation Army to help communities affected by emergency situations,” he said.
“The entity continues to be one of the organizations that consistently provides aid to communities affected by emergencies on the island,” said Olivera.