PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Greater Philadelphia Salvation Army dispatched a member to help with Hurricane Ian relief efforts in Florida.
"It's ramping up to be one of our largest responses, just how widespread it has been," said Major Tawny Cowen-Zanders, describing the Salvation Army's response.
The Salvation Army had teams on the ground even before Ian hit.
On Wednesday morning, Cowen-Zanders, Divisional Secretary for the Greater Philadelphia Salvation Army, left for Florida to help in the hurricane relief efforts.
"We're just there to say, 'We are here. What is your need?' And some people's need might just be a listening ear. Some people, they may need a blanket," Cowen-Zanders said.
Cowen-Zanders has been with the Salvation Army for 18 years, responding to disasters like Irma in 2017.
This time, she will be stationed in Port Charlotte serving on the incident management team as public information officer.
"We are walking into individuals where their whole infrastructure has been taken out in some places, and they're getting it rebuilt at the moment," Cowen-Zanders said.
So far, the Salvation Army has provided more than 65,000 meals, food boxes, and snacks, in addition to personal hygiene kits, clean-up kits, and infant supplies, as people try to piece their lives back together.
"They're trying to mop up. Trying to keep mold from growing. Trying to keep their food, having enough food, because with the power being out it all went," Cowen-Zanders said.
There's also the emotional support.
"It's also the emotional reality of one day you go to bed and everything's ok, and the next day your home has just been destroyed and your life as you know it," she said.
There are already others on the ground from around Pennsylvania though Cowen-Zanders is the only member from the Greater Philadelphia chapter right now. She will be there for two weeks.
More members will be dispatched as the response goes on.
"We'll just be there until the last person needs us," Cowen-Zanders said.