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The Salvation Army Deploys Emergency Disaster Services Responders to Puerto Rico

Salvation Army Puerto Rico Disaster Response Team #1

Salvation Army Puerto Rico Disaster Response Team #1

Salvation Army Puerto Rico Hurricane Fiona Relief Work

Salvation Army Puerto Rico Hurricane Fiona Relief Work

Trained professional responders to support local team with Hurricane Fiona relief efforts

The Salvation Army’s presence in every zip code of the United States makes us uniquely capable of mobilizing from anywhere in the country for a disaster like this.”
— Robert Myers III, Emergency Disaster Services Coordinator
NYACK, NEW YORK, USA, September 23, 2022 / -- As Puerto Rico continues to battle with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, The Salvation Army is mobilizing its national Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) network to provide mass feeding, sheltering, clean-up support, personal hygiene kits, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders. Since Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico, an extensive network of highly trained EDS disaster professionals and volunteers has been on the ground serving the community across the island.

“The Salvation Army’s presence in every zip code of the United States makes us uniquely capable of mobilizing from anywhere in the country for a disaster like this,” noted Robert Myers III, Emergency Disaster Services coordinator for The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory. “We were preparing response efforts before the storm made landfall, and we will be helping these communities recover long after the flood waters recede.”

In the next 24-48 hours, The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory, which covers Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, will deploy 17 experienced disaster relief experts to assist with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The staff members and volunteers include:
• Jordan Avery – Volunteer, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, Greater Boston/Lynn, Massachusetts
• Captain Dorothy Budd – Corps Officer, Warren Corps, Pennsylvania
• Whitney Cole – Volunteer, Pennsylvania
• Major Ismael Correa – Corps Officer, Allentown Corps, Pennsylvania
• Lieutenant Jocelin Delaluz – Assistant Corps Officer, Perth Amboy Corps, New Jersey
• Lieutenant Emmanuel Villegas Encarnacion – Field Training Officer, The Salvation Army College For Officer Training, New York
• Lieutenant Dustin Fitch – Corps Officers, Columbus East Main Corps, Ohio
• Major Robert Klenk – Divisional Secretary, Ohio
• Major Migdalia Lavenbein – Hartford Area Coordinator & Corps Officer, Connecticut
• Heather MacFarlane – Director of Communications, Marketing & Public Relations, Massachusetts
• Heather Martin – Deputy Director of Operations and Volunteer Coordinator, Pennsylvania
• Captain Shaun McNeil – Corps Officer, Ithaca Corps, New York
• Jaamal Montesino – Facilities Supervisor, New Jersey
• Captain Luis Ocasio – Associate Corps Officer, Middletown Corps, New York
• Lieutenant Sarai Olmedo-Garcia – Associate Corps Officer, Queens Corps, New York
• Lieutenant Ismael Ortiz – Corps Officer, Wilkes-Barre Corps, Pennsylvania
• Katie Perrett – Divisional Volunteer & EDS Coordinator, Connecticut

On Sunday, September 18, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico and brought sustained winds, torrential downpours that dumped up to 30-inches of rain, and an island-wide power outage still impacting parts of the island today. The hurricane has also disrupted clean water supplies for most residents. Hurricane Fiona has already caused an estimated $2 billion in economic damages and four confirmed deaths.

“Hurricane Fiona is a sadly grim reprise of Hurricane Maria, which devasted Puerto Rico in September 2017,” said Nick Wheeler, Director of External Communications for The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory. “Large parts of the island still face flooding, high temperatures, and power outages, making it crucial for The Salvation Army to continue providing relief to as many people as possible. Our staff are going door-to-door in some communities to ensure that everyone, including the elderly and those with medical conditions, is safe and well.”

“We are doing everything in our power to respond effectively to the impacts made by Fiona,” Myers added. “With the continued generosity of the public, we will remain on the frontlines of this disaster, serving those affected by the storm for however long we are needed. With over 7,200 centers of operation across the country and 10 in Puerto Rico alone, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to mobilize and serve communities before, during, and after a natural disaster strikes.”

As The Salvation Army ramps up response efforts, several steps have already been taken to assist those affected. Up to September 22, The Salvation Army has served 8,786 individuals and distributed the following items at its community centers in San Juan, Puerta de Tierra, Caguas, Centro, Bayamon, Mayaguez, Arecibo, and Loiza:
o 9,159 prepared meals, food boxes/meal kits, and snacks
o 11,309 drinks and bottles of water
o 1,875 packs of diapers
o 661 personal hygiene kits
o 415 Ice Bags
o 275 clean-up kits
o 107 blankets

Additional services and items provided at some Salvation Army community centers include:
o Showers
o Charging stations for people to charge personal devices like mobile phones, laptops, portable medical equipment, etc.
o Emotional and spiritual counseling and support
o Children’s and adult clothing
o Furniture

To make a financial gift to support Hurricane Fiona relief:
• Donate online:
• Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
• Donate by mail:
The Salvation Army Gift Processing Center
PO Box 3095
Harlan, IA 51593-0159
“Hurricane Fiona Relief”

The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations due to the significant cost of shipping goods to Puerto Rico. Cash giving allows us to make tailored purchases to meet specific needs as much as possible. For more information on The Salvation Army’s response, visit

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army serves more than 25 million people in America each year, helping them overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,200 centers of operation around the country. During times of disaster, 100% of designated donations to The Salvation Army are used for immediate response and long-term efforts. In 2021, The Salvation Army was ranked No. 2 on the list of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

Nick Wheeler
The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory
+1 845-620-7316
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