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Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services responds to severe weather

A Salvation Army canteen serves water, coffee, and snacks to first-responders at the scene of the Hazelwood tornado Wednesday evening.

Within an hour of a tornado touchdown in St. Louis April 10, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services was on-scene to lend support to first-responders and those affected by the severe weather throughout the area.

At 8:05 p.m., a tornado touched down in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood, leaving thousands without power, damaging several homes, and bringing down trees and power lines throughout the area. By 9 p.m., two EDS canteens were on-hand at Armstrong Elementary School with several volunteers. The EDS team also responded in Sullivan, MO where a trailer park was affected by the storms.

Over the course of the next 4 days following the tornado, EDS staff and volunteers served 290 meals, 970 beverages, 1,235 snacks, and distributed some tarps as well.

According to St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, The Salvation Army’s canteen support is a blessing.

“They serve coffee and water, which may not seem like a big deal, but it certainly is,” Jenkerson said during the Army’s recent canteen dedication. “The canteens give people a chance to step back, take a breath, and regroup. Someone asks them if they’re OK and offers them a cup of coffee. That little break allows them to regroup and focus on the task at hand. I think firefighters drink more Salvation Army coffee than any other coffees combined.”

In addition to The Salvation Army’s response in Hazelwood, EDS volunteers were also dispatched to Sullivan, Union, and Arnold, where severe weather and strong winds caused damage as well.

No serious injuries were reported.

To learn how you can be the most prepared for inclement weather, visit our blog at

The Salvation Army’s EDS canteens respond to more than just severe weather, serving more than 200,000 meals, drinks, and snacks each year to those who are hungry and responding to traffic accidents, missing child cases, and fires. The canteens are regularly used to provide meals, water, and clothing to St. Louis’ homeless community.

If you are interested in volunteering with The Salvation Army’s EDS team, contact volunteer coordinator Larry Pleimann at (314) 646-3188 to begin the application process.

3 Comments on “Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services responds to severe weather”

  • roof replacement st louis April 12th, 2013 9:30 pm

    I hope we don’t see any more of these for the rest of the spring. This is the worst damage I’ve experienced first hand. The largest tree on the block was uprooted an left laying on my neighbors house. No one was hurt in our neighborhood but I know a lot where in north county.

    It always seems to hit north a little harder. Lambert had all that damage last year from the tornado.

  • Jane E. Holmes April 22nd, 2013 3:29 pm

    I work for Magellan Health in Maryland Heights. We are looking to possibly support the storm victims of the Tornado in Hazelwood…Especially those living in the apartments that were hit so badly, possibly donating clothing or money or any need they may have except for housing, we have no venue for that…Could you direct me to some one who could help us.

  • Dana Ellison April 22nd, 2013 3:42 pm

    Thanks so much for offering to help–we are not accepting in-kind donations to assist the storm victims specifically, but if you would like to make a contribution to The Salvation Army and designate “storm relief” or “Hazelwood tornado” the funds will go to support those in the community. If you do have individuals wanting to donate clothing or other items we are always accepting donations at our Adult Rehabilitative Services Thrift Stores and they can pick those up for you. Let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks again for your offer to help!

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