As the people of Houston and Florida begin the long road to recovery from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since Hurricane Sandy reached our own shores on October 29th, 2012, devastating the New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut shorelines. Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Canteens began serving first responders and victims during and immediately after the storm. In Connecticut, the Army helped 17,000 people, by providing meals, drinks, snacks, hygiene kits, clothing, and gift cards.
“In times of crisis, The Salvation Army is always among the first to respond with immediate relief,” said Major George Polarek, The Salvation Army’s Community Relations and Development Secretary for the Eastern Territory.
Over the past four years working with Hurricane Sandy survivors, The Salvation Army provided long-term case management to 378 families (894 individuals), while also providing financial assistance to 90 families (238 individuals), being referred to us by partner agencies. Approximately 95% of these families were from the Fairfield and New Haven Counties, the hardest hit areas in Connecticut.
In the days that followed the hurricane, The Salvation Army actively worked alongside residents, rebuilding their lives in hopes of returning to some sense of normalcy.
Unfortunately, the ripples of Hurricane Sandy would echo for years to come. In order to help those in the affected areas, The Salvation Army hired four full-time Disaster Case Managers – two in Milford, one in Bridgeport, and one in Norwalk.
The Salvation Army served as one of the last safety nets available to support hurricane survivors on their road to full recovery. They worked directly with the affected communities, while partnering closely with local long-term recovery groups and regional Unmet Needs Round Tables, which helped identify cases of those who had long-term critical needs.
People like Christine Straub, a resident of Milford, CT, looked to The Salvation Army for help when she had no where else to turn. “I remember coming home and opening the door. Everything was just mud. Everything was ruined. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army, I don’t think I would have been able to do it. It was just awful,” said Straub. “You need somebody to fight for you, and I thank The Salvation Army for being there for me. Thank God for The Salvation Army.”
With a storm as devastating as Sandy, The Salvation Army understands that the community needed years to fully recover and was uniquely positioned to serve the long-term needs of neighbors throughout a multi-state region.
With Hurricane Sandy now behind her, Dianne finally got her life back. Dianne’s home was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy. As if the physical damage was not bad enough, Dianne also experienced contractor fraud. A contractor took her money, performed inferior work, and did not complete the job.
"I had given up hope.” Dianne said. “When I first heard from The Salvation Army, I was not going to take the call. I thought the caller was just another bureaucrat offering empty promises. The caseworker informed me that the Army was truly here to help. I was in tears. After so many false starts, I now had someone who cared.”
These are families that, when all other sources had been exhausted, came to The Salvation Army for support. The Salvation Army will continue to serve individuals and families whenever disaster strikes. Of course, the long-term recovery effort wouldn’t be possible without the generous support from our donors.
The Salvation Army is one of only a handful of agencies that are able to serve in all phases of a disaster. For more than 100 years, The Salvation Army has been a trusted provider of emergency assistance, and is officially recognized by federal, state and local governments across the country as a sanctioned disaster relief and assistance organization.
As a federally recognized relief organization and a charter member of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), The Salvation Army was involved in the development of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Response Framework. Within this framework, The Salvation Army is recognized as an organization able to provide relief services to communities impacted by both natural and man-made disasters until the service is no longer needed by the community.
Ways you can donate to the current hurricane relief efforts:
Donate By Phone:
Text to Give:
STORM to 51555
Mail Checks - ** Please designate “Hurricane 2017” on all checks.
The Salvation Army
PO Box 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301