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On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Ivan striking the Gulf Coast, the same area finds itself picking up the pieces after Hurricane Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach at 4:45 AM, Wednesday, September 16, 2020. As it slowly crawled to shore, the monster storm gained strength which means that this area of Alabama, and then quickly followed by the panhandle of Florida, endured hours and hours of rain and storm surge. This caused mass flooding and destruction, across a wide stretch of the Gulf Coast. We know that when disaster strikes, a wave of helpers always follow. Because Hurricane Laura was just a few weeks ago, many disaster relief organizations were already down on the Gulf and could transition some or all of their team to be in place to respond to the wrath of Sally.
Virginia based Mercy Chefs were still working in Louisiana to serve warm meals to those impacted by Hurricane Laura. They put teams in position ahead of Sally, ready to move in when it was safe to do so. To date, Mercy Chefs have shown up in disaster’s wake to serve more than six million meals since the organization was founded by Chef Gary and Ann LeBlanc. You can donate here.
Operation BBQ Relief
Missouri based Operation BBQ Relief also responds to disaster with a warm plate of food in their unique style. This group of do-gooder BBQ pit masters have been answering the call to feed since tornadoes ravaged Joplin, Missouri 2011. They too have been busy serving folks in the Lake Charles area and turned their attentions towards Alabama and Florida ahead of the storm. For the most up to date information on where they will deploy and what help they may need, go to their website here.
American Red Cross
In response to natural disasters the American Red Cross serves many needs. They organize blood drives for the injured, shelter for the displaced, and nourishment for the hungry, just to name a few. Due to Covid-19, they have less volunteers as they normally would, and donations are down. Find out how you can help here.
The Salvation Army is often the among the first to arrive in the wake of the storm and this will be no different. While they continue to serve in Louisiana, they have plans in place to move forward towards helping those who are struggling in Sally’s wake. You can help these first responders by donating here.
World Central Kitchen
Chef José’s organization that feeds those in need all over the world positioned their teams in Mobile and Greenville, Alabama ahead of the storm and had a kitchen activated, ready to cook. They wasted no time, getting meals to first responders as soon as they could. Donate to their efforts here.
Delivering 200 hot meals to the Baldwin County Emergency Operations Center in Alabama — pulled BBQ pork, roasted brussels and crispy taters. First responders here have been working non-stop for 36 hours as Hurricane #Sally made landfall in Baldwin. We will be back with dinner! pic.twitter.com/TdhThKKGP1
— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) September 16, 2020
This amazing group of mostly military veterans have transitioned their unique skillset from their time in military service, to serve their country in a different way. These vets show up and know what to do in a disaster. They help search and rescue, clean up, and rebuild. Help their efforts here.
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We will continue to monitor this storm and will update this page as more information becomes available.