Panama City Salvation Army Cuts Harvey Trip Short to Prepare for Irma

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Local charity organizations have been busy in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Now with Hurricane Irma moving closer to the U.S. the attention is Florida.

A Harvey relief trip was cut a week short for Panama City Salvation Army volunteers. 

"They decided all the Florida units needed to come home so we came home a week early but normally our trips are 14 days," said Disaster Relief Coordinator Tom Williams.

Their vehicle returned on Wednesday but they are already unpacking and repacking it in case they need to help with Hurricane Irma. Tom Williams has helped in over a dozen disasters, driving across the country delivering food, water, and supplies. If he gets called to help this time, it will be no different. 

"I'm not in it for the thanks, I'm in it because I want to help people," said Williams.

In all of Major Otis Child's 40 years of experience he says it is all about being prepared.

"Any given disaster, the Salvation Army is prepared to provide nutrition, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care when we arrive on the site," said Major Otis.

Tom Williams said times of crisis bring people together.

"It's not about you 'I'm a republican, I'm a democrat, you're Christian I'm not,'  that just goes away in a time like this everybody bonds together. Wouldn't the world be so much better if that happened all the time?" said Williams.

The Panama City Salvation Army is getting briefed daily by the state organization about when and where they might be needed next. They urge people to donate money instead of items because there is a lack of storage space in disasters like these.

If you would like to become a volunteer or donate you can go to

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