General Secretary of The Salvation Army's North and South Carolina Division, Major Tom Louden, will be testifying at a field hearing at Clemson University at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, November 21. The US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency field hearing is entitled "Emergency Preparedness: Are We Ready For A 21st Century Hugo?" The hearing will focus on the importance of local, state, federal officials and non-profits working closely together during crisis situations, and preparing for threats like natural disasters.
"The Salvation Army's mission is to '...to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name, without discrimination' and our disaster services program focuses on fulfilling that mission by helping any and all who need assistance during emergencies. The Salvation Army's first disaster response in the United States occurred more than 100 years ago – to the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 – and since then, The Salvation Army has responded to just about every major disaster our nation has faced." –Major Tom Louden
The Salvation Army southeast region has nearly 300 canteens (mobile kitchens) each able to produce 1,500 meals per day. Twenty of these feeding units are positioned in North Carolina and 10 in South Carolina. In addition to food service, The Salvation Army offers direct financial aid to disaster survivors to help families meet emergency needs in the aftermath of a disaster. For a catastrophic event like Hurricane Hugo or Katrina, The Salvation Army disaster recovery efforts may continue for several years.
Major Louden has held numerous leadership positions and responsibilities in various disaster response operations over his 20 years as an officer in The Salvation Army. As General Secretary, Major Louden serves as chief operating officer responsible for all matters relating to Emergency Disaster Services preparedness and response, Legal Department, Community Relations and Development (including planned giving, capital development, fund raising, web and new media development, communications and marketing) as well as all Information Technology for the two states.