Disasters can occur at any time and in any place. They often bring great death and destruction in their train, and because they are unpredictable, they are all the more devastating. Canada is fortunate that emergency preparedness experts at all levels of government have well-organised, definitive plans, in which The Salvation Army plays an important part. But, despite the armies of trained personnel ready to go into action, very often the best we can do is to mitigate the effects of a disaster, and deal with its aftermath.
Whenever disaster strikes, the presence of Salvation Army personnel is expected. Often assigned a specific role by Emergency Preparedness authorities, such as counselling, registration and identification, transportation, emergency housing, feeding or clothing, The Salvation Army is well equipped to handle any demands made of it in a disciplined and resourceful manner.
For example, we were there to provide food and medical care after a typhoon hit the Philippines in November 2013; we counselled and comforted those who lost all they had in the floods in High River, Alberta, in June 2013; and we continue to assist with emergency relief operations around the world. For updates on our current emergency activities, visit this link: www.salvationarmy.ca/tag/emergency-disaster-services.
The Army’s unique, international, quasi-military structure enables it to move quickly into action. Like no other civilian body, it can mobilise officer-personnel, resources, volunteers and financial support from the public at large, and bring them to bear where the need is greatest. And what motivates its humanitarian services? Love for God, allied with a practical concern for the needs of humanity.