Officers, disaster staff and volunteers of The Salvation Army’s Midland Division, were among the first to respond following the tornado that touched down at 6 pm, Tuesday, carving a three-mile path of destruction through the small community of Goodman, MO (located about 25 miles southeast of Joplin in McDonald County).
Although no serious injuries have been reported in the town of 1,200, The Salvation Army and partner relief agencies, volunteers, churches and businesses including Tyson Foods, are coordinating efforts in the aftermath of an EF-2 tornado. The National Weather Service (NWS) gives this designation to tornadoes with estimated winds of 111-135 mph and causing destruction to trees and property. The Goodman tornado damaged more than 40 homes (an undetermined number were destroyed), devastated the town’s main fire house and a nearby elementary school, displacing 300 students and prompting district officials to close schools this week.
Local emergency management officials have asked The Salvation Army to coordinate the entire food services operation estimated to impact 1,200 residents and volunteers. The Salvation Army’s Operations Director/Emergency Disaster Services Martin Rueter, is overseeing the effort. He explains, “One of our canteens (mobile kitchen or food truck), a critical part of our disaster services response, is on site and will serve as the center of food preparation and distribution going forward.” Rueter added, “After touring the area with local emergency officials this morning, we are preparing to expand our efforts to the town of Neosho, MO after reports of damage on its southeast side.”
And, for the first time, The Salvation Army is funding products and supplies for Operation Barbecue Relief (OBR), a team of competitive chefs from of Kansas City, MO. (Close to Odessa, MO where The Salvation Army is still involved in disaster recovery after tornadoes touched down three weeks ago). OBR will cook about 200-250 complete lunches each day, served from the canteen and van.
Divisional Commander Colonel Dan Jennings says, “The Salvation Army’s highly-trained team of emergency personnel will continue to work with local and state officials to tailor relief efforts as needed.” He added, “We are anticipating an influx of volunteers as relief agencies come together to create a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) this Saturday (more details to come). Our social services team in St Louis is on stand-by to travel to Goodman to meet with families and provide personal, medical and spiritual care.”
Meanwhile, help continues to travel down the highway from nearby communities including Joplin, MO. Just 25 miles away, Joplin is still in the final stages of recovery from the May 2011, EF-5 Tornado that caused devastating loss of life and property.
The Salvation Army’s high level response is made possible by your donations. To donate to the relief effort please visit stlsalvationarmy.org. Another way to do this is to text GOODMANHELP to 41444; or, follow this link to the donation form: http://igfn.us/f/1arp/n.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.
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