By Scott Fitzgerald Staff Writer



Enid Salvation Army is ready to go south and tackle the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina.

"We're stocked and ready. We're on standby," said Capt. Cameron Henderson, who with his wife, Paula, began their new ap-pointments here in July.

Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services began moving into affected areas of Louisiana and Mississippi early Tuesday.

"As of this morning, we had 11 to 15 people already arriving in the Gulf area setting up canteens and providing operation management. The affected areas are catastrophic at this point," said division spokeswoman Cindy Fuller.

Every Salvation Army officer is on standby and ready to be sent to help in the rescue effort, Fuller said.

Enid Salvation Army's mobile kitchen unit will have up to five people working it, Henderson said.

Henderson said since this weekend, he has received requests to help from church members, beneficiaries and volunteers.

"We've trained about 20 people. We will send about three to five at a time," Henderson said.

The Salvation Army's first priority is to provide food for the hungry. Army officers also are prepared to offer emotional and pastoral care to support fatigued and devastated hurricane victims.

Ministers are prepared to provide encouragement as well as lend a compassionate ear to residents of areas affected by Katrina's fury, Fuller wrote in a news release.

"Primarily, we serve the victims themselves," Henderson said.

People wanting to help disaster victims may best do so by making cash donations.

To make a donation, people may go online on the Web at www.1800SalArmy.org or telephone (800) 725-2769.

Henderson said special arrangements can be made if businesses or companies wish to provide transport for specific relief supplies.

He can be reached through the Army office at 237-1910.

The Army also is answering online inquiries on the whereabouts of Hurricane Katrina victims through Web sites -- www.satern.org or www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Director Robin Unruh, of Cimarron Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, said the agency office in Enid had many financial donations Tuesday from local people.

The office is located at 1023 W. Elm near the Van Buren intersection.

Four people also qualified to volunteer with the Red Cross relief assistance effort and are awaiting deployment instructions, Unruh said.

The Red Cross has opened 239 shelters. Another 92 shelters are on standby. Shelters are being provided in neighboring states, which could include Oklahoma, Unruh said.



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