Hurricane Ian: The Salvation Army of the Treasure Coast deployed to Florida gulf coast

Capt. Nathan Jones of The Salvation Army of the Treasure Coast is being deployed to Florida's west coast for the next 14 days to serve areas affected by Hurricane Ian.

Jones, who has been a captain for 13 years and done disaster relief work for 21 years, said he has served on multiple missions throughout his career, most notably hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Michael.

The Salvation Army will send numerous volunteers and its mobile canteen kitchen, likely in four rounds of two-week deployments, Jones predicted Tuesday.

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Salvation Army of the Treasure Coast Captain Nathan Jones stands inside the mobile canteen kitchen ahead of deploying to the west coast of Florida to aid the areas that will be impacted by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Stuart. "Today we're heading out to Lakeland to bunker down there," said Jones. "As soon as the storm hits, we're going to follow it up, helping out on our way up to see where the majority of the damage is. We can feed up to 2,500 people per meal."
Salvation Army of the Treasure Coast Captain Nathan Jones stands inside the mobile canteen kitchen ahead of deploying to the west coast of Florida to aid the areas that will be impacted by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Stuart. "Today we're heading out to Lakeland to bunker down there," said Jones. "As soon as the storm hits, we're going to follow it up, helping out on our way up to see where the majority of the damage is. We can feed up to 2,500 people per meal."

The first deployment planned to head to Lakeland from Stuart about 2 p.m. Tuesday, then head to the hardest-hit area on Wednesday, Jones said.

The mobile kitchen canteen, run by two employees, is equipped to feed breakfast, lunch and dinner to 2,500 first responders and people in need, according to Jones.

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"It is kind of hard to fully prepare because you do not know what the damage is, you do not know the location," Jones said. "You do not know what the flooding is going to be like, the wind damage, the property damage; so we are kind of in a limbo until after the storm is finished."

Salvation Army of the Treasure Coast Captain Nathan Jones closes the door of the mobile canteen kitchen ahead of deploying to the west coast of Florida to aid the areas that will be impacted by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Stuart. "Today we're heading out to Lakeland to bunker down there," said Jones. "As soon as the storm hits, we're going to follow it up, helping out on our way up to see where the majority of the damage is. We can feed up to 2,500 people per meal."
Salvation Army of the Treasure Coast Captain Nathan Jones closes the door of the mobile canteen kitchen ahead of deploying to the west coast of Florida to aid the areas that will be impacted by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Stuart. "Today we're heading out to Lakeland to bunker down there," said Jones. "As soon as the storm hits, we're going to follow it up, helping out on our way up to see where the majority of the damage is. We can feed up to 2,500 people per meal."

The Salvation Army had been on standby since last week, but on Monday got the official call to deploy, according to spokesperson Kim Johnson.

Hurricane Ian is predicted to make landfall in the Tampa Bay area as a Category 4 Hurricane with winds up to 130 miles, as of Tuesday afternoon.

"We're prepared for a major storm, but as you all know, storms are very fickle," Jones said. "We can prepare for the worst and it may not hit as bad. We think this is going to hit relatively rough."

Gianna Montesano is TCPalm's underserved communities reporter. You can contact her at gianna.montesano@tcpalm.com, 772-409-1429 or follow her on Twitter @gmontesano13.

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Hurricane Ian: Salvation Army of Treasure Coast deployed to west coast