Salvation Army of Martin County prepares mobile canteen to help in Carolinas

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - As people in the Carolinas evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence, Salvation Army volunteers in Florida are getting ready to head into the possible disaster zone.

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“It’s important because directly in the aftermath, people don’t have access to clean water or to food or to grocery stores," said Lt. Sheena Marquis of the Salvation Army of Martin County.

Salvation Army of Martin County volunteers have packed up food, bottled water and other supplies to cook up to 1,500 meals a day in a mobile canteen, which has a full kitchen.

Wednesday afternoon, two volunteers will drive the mobile canteen north to Jacksonville to be in place for the storm.

“In the aftermath of a disaster, every second counts, so we want to make sure that we get to the people who have been affected as soon as possible so we can begin serving them," Marquis said.

When the worst of Hurricane Florence is over, the volunteers will make their way to areas that have people who need a hot meal and moral support.

“This is the biggest impact we can have as the Salvation Army is being able to provide a cup of water, some warm coffee, and a hot meal, so they have something they can eat," Marquis said.

The Salvation Army is deploying mobile canteens from 12 chapters around Florida as of right now.

Palm Beach County's chapter isn’t on that list just yet, but they have a volunteer there who is ready to help, especially because he's spent a lot of time in South Carolina and has family there.

"It would be kind of interesting if I got sent to that area that is almost like a second home to me," said Danny Hager, who volunteered last year with the mobile canteen, going to Texas, the Florida Keys and Naples for hurricane relief.

On Tuesday, Hager drove back early from a trip to visit his daughter and her family in Surfside Beach, which is near Myrtle Beach. However, he could soon have to make the drive back north.

"That would be different than going to Harvey or something, there’s nothing to compare those with, but the other one, the comparison, could really, yea, that’s close to home," Hager said.

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