BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Big improvements are being made in disaster response for the Capital City. The Salvation Army is getting new equipment to mobilize resources quicker thanks to a big donation made by Albertsons.
During a disaster, when people see The Salvation Army Emergency Response Unit rolling down the street there was a sigh of relief. This van is getting a $100,000 upgrade to help provide more services to more people in need.
“Whether that disaster is one street that flooded out or one neighborhood that was hit by a tornado, for the person who lost that house, it was as bad as it gets,” said The Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge General Secretary Major Ethan Frizzell.
And when disaster strikes, the Salvation Army is there ready to serve. Christy Lara, an Albertsons spokesperson, said that’s why they decided to donate 100,000 dollars toward a more advanced emergency response unit.
“[We want to] help the Salvation Army be ready to respond. Right away, people need cold water right away. People need food right away. There are people maybe without power or without a safe place to stay,” said Lara.
GBR Salvation Army Captain Brian Hicks said Hurricane Ida showed everyone the need is great.
“Last year alone during Hurricane Ida, it was close to around 21,000 gallons of water, roughly 88,000 clean-up kits that we were able to serve off the canteens,” he said.
He said they will now be able to get to more places and quicker.
“I was elated. I was very excited just knowing that we had something new on the ground that we can help more people. It’s designed so that we can get it to more remote locations where we could not with our older units,” Capt. Hicks explained.
The van will also go from bulkier and heavier to a sleeker style with more features.
“There’s microwaves, there’s coffee machines, refrigerators, freezers. We can actually prepare food on these in a split instant,” he said.
“We don’t know when disaster will strike, but we know that we can be ready or as ready as possible,” stated Lara.
“We can’t wait to be able to get it out on the streets and show it off and give what people need in their time of need,” added Capt. Hicks.
The Salvation Army is always accepting donations. To make a donation, click here.