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« on: September 09, 2004, 03:02:28 PM »

(My Note: Please - we need to pray for the people of Florida)

Salvation Army Aids Victims of Charley, Frances While Ivan Looms Offshore

by Allie Mart

September 9, 2004

(AgapePress) - Officials and volunteers with The Salvation Army are redirecting their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Frances while providing assistance to those hit hard by Hurricane Charley. Meanwhile, weather forecasters are saying Hurricane Ivan -- now categorized as a Category Five storm, with winds up to 160 mph -- could pummel the Florida Keys with its fury by the weekend.

Late last month, The Salvation Army dispatched crews to Florida to help victims of Hurricane Charley. Over Labor Day weekend, many of those crews were riding out Hurricane Frances, a monster storm that was larger than the state of Texas.

Major George Hood, national spokesman for The Salvation Army, says many Floridians were shocked and weary as they returned to their homes after the fury of Frances. His organization, he says, is helping to meet both physical and spiritual needs among the hurricane's victims.

"When someone comes home and sees damage done to their home, it's a very difficult thing to deal with," Hood explains, "and it takes a great deal of sensitivity and spiritual care, which is why we really specialize in making sure that we have stress counselors and spiritual counselors to deal with that emotional care vacuum that may be experienced."

The Salvation Army official says more than 90 disaster response teams are covering virtually the entire state in the wake of Charley and Frances. Based along the central east cost of Florida, Hood says he is witnessing the movement of thousands of people back into the evacuated areas who are checking on the status of their homes.

"It's a difficult time because there is absolutely no electricity down here virtually anywhere," he says, "and it's making things extremely difficult for people to get re-acclimated." Hood says emergency vehicles, also known as "canteens," are providing food, water, hygiene, and other basics for hurricane victims.

The specter of a third major hurricane in less than two weeks hangs over the Sunshine State and the Caribbean. Hurricane Ivan has already laid waste to the island nation of Grenada and is bearing down on Jamaica and Cuba as it pounds its way toward the Southeastern coast of the United States.



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