Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Emergency vehicle serving in the Lake Placid area after tornado

Disaster relief: When a tornado strikes, Army answers the call

Added on Monday, May 15, 2017

Simply put: When a tornado strikes, The Salvation Army moves to action. The call to action after disasters is one The Salvation Army has been answering for more than 100 years.

Last year, when an EF2 tornado hit the Placid Lake area of Minnesota, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services team from Brainerd was on the scene a short time later to assist with meals, water and snacks (read story).

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the deadly tornado that killed 16 people in southern Minnesota. According to newspaper reports at the time, on April 30, 1967, several tornadoes struck Waseca, Steele, Freeborn, Rice and Mower counties (Read Waseca County news recount). Albert Lea Salvation Army 1967 Tornado recovery

The devastation was so great the day has been remembered as “Black Sunday.”

This was a time well before today’s technology. Local TV meteorologists were still using chalk and felt boards to show their weather predictions.

After a tornado took one community by surprise, due to a lack of communication and technology, it was not uncommon for the tornado to roll through the next town without warning.

Storm radar technology was so underdeveloped, a tornado packing winds up to hundreds of miles an hour would simply show up as a long white blob on a black screen, as was the case in 1967. To make matters worse, no one was expecting tornadoes in April.

For decades The Salvation Army has provided assistance during the most challenging times of our lives. When communities are hit with tragedy, The Salvation Army and all of our volunteers help to make them whole again. It has been said, “The Salvation Army is the first on the scene and the last to leave,” and for good reason.

Disasters happen at the most unsuspecting times, The Salvation Army knows this and is prepared to answer the call.

Please join The Salvation Army by becoming a disaster services volunteer or make a donation to support your local community today