Images bring devastation of Hurricane Michael to life

Nov 15, 2018 | by Brad Rowland

Images bring devastation of Hurricane Michael to life

By: Brad Rowland

The Salvation Army moved swiftly in response to Hurricane Michael and its devastation in the panhandle of Florida and across Georgia. Given the widespread nature of the storm's impact, the need for ongoing services exists, but as work continues and the story unfolds, the Army will be well-equipped to tell an accurate and vivid story, thanks in part to the work of Joseph Chang and Adriana Limandri.

Chang, senior multimedia editor and MTK coordinator for the Territorial Communications Bureau, entered the response to Michael with extensive experience, having been deployed previously on several occasions. Limandri, multimedia ministries editor, was deployed for the first time.

While the work of the duo was quite different from that of officers, soldiers and volunteers sent to the area, Chang and Limandri provided a critical service and one that requires both planning and flexibility.

"We tried to enter with a mindset focusing on what we need to capture to benefit The Salvation Army," Chang said. "Just go with an open mind, without preconceived notions, and do our best to paint an accurate picture of what is transpiring on the ground. From there, I hope the images and video we've taken impact the Army and help people realize that we are doing the most good."

Because of their expertise, Chang and Limandri were tasked with capturing candid moments of the Army's work in the region, ranging from spiritual and emotional care to the meeting of physical needs for those affected. Immediately upon arrival, the pair met with those on the ground to assess the situation and, throughout their deployment, were able to shadow a canteen, group, and individual workers to gain the most accurate picture of the work being accomplished.

"It was mind-blowing," Limandri said. "You want to call your parents, your brother, or your sister and just tell them you love them. Because it's a reminder of how precious life is… It makes you stop and think; be reminded that we take a lot of things for granted."

The captured footage, in both photo and video form, was critical in supporting the Army's work, both in the moment through the ability to share stories with news outlets, donors and supporters, and in the future.

"It's cliché to say that one picture is worth a thousand words, but in a disaster, a good photograph is absolutely priceless," said Jeff Jellets, territorial disaster services coordinator. "Capturing Salvation Army service delivery is important not just because it helps tell our story, it also sends an important message to our donors, partners, survivors and storm-effected communities. It's proof that the Army is there, fulfilling our mission, and that we are keeping our promise to always be there when people are hurting."

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