Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s Role in Emergency Disaster Services

Federal law has reaffirmed The Salvation Army’s authority to provide disaster assistance with the passage of the Robert T. Stafford Emergency and Disaster Assistance Act. This Act specifically names The Salvation Army as a relief and disaster assistance organization. Several factors guide The Salvation Army’s role in responding to disasters. These guiding factors include:

  • The Salvation Army has an established right to provide disaster relief services. That right is recognized by public law and through signed Memorandums of Understanding and Agreements with government agencies and other voluntary organizations.
  • The Salvation Army’s disaster relief services are supported solely by donations.
  • The Salvation Army is not a first responder; rather, it supports first responders.
  • The Salvation Army is a mass-care support agency.

The Salvation Army’s Goals in Emergency Disaster Services

When the Salvation Army initiates a disaster relief operation, the first aim is to meet the basic needs of those who have been affected, both survivors and first responders. Even at this level, The Salvation Army’s workers are ministering in that they serve as a means of expressing God’s love. The Salvation Army’s goals are to offer:

  • Material comfort
  • Physical comfort
  • Emotional comfort
  • Spiritual comfort

The Salvation Army provides help as an outgrowth of faith and as an act of obedience to God, but no service is withheld because of a recipient’s beliefs. If disaster relief recipients ask for prayer or spiritual counseling, The Salvation Army can provide these.