• Apr21Wed

    Emergency Response and Social Responsibility Are Not Mutually Exclusive

    It is vitally important to get as much aid to the affect area as quickly as possible. April 21, 2021 Perron Goodyear
    Filed Under:
    Emergency Disaster Services

    Following an emergency or disaster incident it is vitally important to get as much aid to the affected area as quickly as possible. Through our Emergency Disaster Services program, The Salvation Army, along with other partners, are often called upon to assist those who have been affected. This can include residents, first responders as well as other volunteer groups and response organizations. 

    As a not-for-profit organization, the Army tries to ensure we are being good stewards of the funds donated by providing support as inexpensively as possible. However, while cost is important, equally important should be our social responsibility.

    Some of the ways our Emergency Disaster Services in the Canada and Bermuda Territory is looking to be more socially responsible include:

    The use of biodegradable products such as plates, cups, and cutlery. In many municipalities use of biodegradable products is required, but as an organization we need to do all that we can do for our environment, beyond what is required. 

    Only serving fair trade and ethically sourced products like tea and coffee. While the cost for these items is higher, ensuring that people make a livable wage and are paid fairly for their work is at the heart of what The Salvation Army stands for. 

    Ensuring that recycling is available and encouraged at all responses. Depending on the location of the response, this can sometimes mean transporting items to be recycled back to a depot to be processed.

    Reducing the amount of food waste. This can be tricky since we don’t always know how many people need to be served. The general rule is that it is better to have too much food, than not enough since we never want people to be hungry. However, it is important that whenever possible, any leftovers are reused (according to safe food handling practices) or shared with local shelters, etc. 

    Other social justice issues currently on the Emergency Disaster Services agenda include cultural sensitivity, working with indigenous communities and combating human trafficking following disasters.

    Do you have suggestions on other ways we can be more socially aware? Please contact us at eds@salvationarmy.ca