The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) program began in Canada in December 1917 in response to the Halifax Explosion. It’s grown into an international network with thousands of trained personnel from coast to coast.
In BC the Salvation Army is active responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Many of the Emergency Disaster response units are supporting locations serving food and delivering goods and supplies. “Our mobile kitchens help to increase existing feeding output and provide additional take away serving options. They’re also ready to respond should a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or earthquake occur,” says Ian Pollard, Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, the Salvation Army’s emergency disaster services continue to serve on the frontlines,” says Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, territorial secretary for communications. “As we navigate through these challenging times of social distancing, online training has been developed to ensure that we are able to continue to serve those in need.
“In addition, our disaster services personnel are planning for future hazards that may happen as a result of the pandemic.” Visit getprepared.gc.ca for more resources to help you and your family prepare for all types of emergencies.
May 3 to 9, 2020 was Emergency Preparedness Week. “Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual event coordinated by Public Safety Canada,” says Perron Goodyear, The Salvation Army’s territorial director of emergency disaster services.
“Using the theme ‘Are you Ready?’ The Salvation Army encourages Canadians to be prepared for potential hazards such as flooding, wildfires, tornadoes and the current global pandemic.” Disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the impact of whatever emergency we might face. This includes: Developing a plan for your family and purchasing or making an emergency kit that ensures you can be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours following a disaster. The EDS teams provide emergency feeding, emotional and spiritual care, support workers, emergency shelter assistance, donations management and assistance during a crisis.
As one of Canada’s major emergency relief organizations, the Salvation Army is often assigned specific roles by emergency preparedness authorities. Even with the ability to be flexible and to respond based upon the community’s situation, there are several basic services that The Salvation Army offers. These services form the core of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services program: Food & Hydration; Emotional & Spiritual Care; Donations Management; Disaster Social Services and Long-Term Recovery.
To register as a volunteer or learn about training opportunities in your area; please contact – Abbotsford Salvation Army corps office at