Our Record of Emergency Service

When HeaterMeals was first developed, there were no other emergency meals. We were the first shelf-stable, self-heating meal. Our record of service to the emergency response sector goes back to 1997, and is extensive.

Through the years, we have answered the call from the World Food Programme, FEMA, the American Red Cross, Feeding America, active and reserve military units, and state and county emergency management agencies and local first responders. We’re known for our 24/7 capabilities during emergencies, especially our ability to get meals to where they’re needed quickly and efficiently.
Below is a list of natural disasters dating back to 1997. In each, HeaterMeals stepped up and moved our inventory quickly to impacted areas, helping first responders and those affected by the disaster.We’re proud of our record of service, and will continue to be there when we’re needed.
Spring Floods 1997
We first provided meals when the Ohio and Mississippi rivers flooded in March of that year. In 2 days, between 6 and 12 inches of rain fell on SW Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Water levels on the Ohio River were the highest in over 30 years. This flooding affected six states, 14,000 homes, and damage estimates were in excess of $500 million. 33 People lost their lives.

Hurricanes Georges and Mitch

In 1998, Category 4 Hurricane Georges struck Key West on September 25, and landed on Biloxi, Mississippi on September 28. Georges was the fourth hurricane of that season. It was the most destructive storm since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, causing $6 billion in damages, and killing 604 people.
About a month later Hurricane Mitch grew to a Category 5 storm, but eventually weakened to a tropical storm as it moved into Florida. It brought with it a storm surge of up to four feet in the Florida Keys, and spawned tornadoes that finished off damaged buildings from Georges. Mitch was the most powerful storm of the 1998 season, and the fourth strongest on record in the Caribbean.
1999 Cincinnati Tornado

In April of 1999, a killer tornado ripped through our hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. It brought winds of 260 mph when it touched down in a suburban neighborhood in the pre-dawn hours. Four people lost their lives, and 47 were injured. Nearly 200 homes were destroyed and about 200,000 people were without power. Some 15,000 remained in the dark throughout the weekend.
Hurricane Floyd

Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 triggered the largest evacuation in US history when 2.6 million residents in five states were ordered to leave. The storm had reached Category 4 strength, hastening the evacuation, but weakened to a Category 2 when it finally landed in North Carolina. It continued to travel up the coast into New England, causing damage and flooding along the way. Nearly every river basin in the eastern US surpassed 500-year flooding levels. Floyd caused the deaths of 57 people, and wrought $4.5 billion in damages.
December 2000 Arkansas Ice Storm
A major long-term ice storm developed on Christmas Day 2000 in Arkansas. Cold air had moved in from the north, as warm moist air had blown up from the south resulting in the icy conditions. The storm continued for two days producing severe freezing rain. In some areas of the state ice layers were reported to be 3 inches thick. 300,000 residents were without power for days. With power out, some cities were unable to pump water, and the governor even had to communicate with affected areas by HAM radio. This storm, coupled with one that occurred two weeks earlier, are considered to be the worst natural disaster events in Arkansas history.
Tropical Storm Allison

Allison hit the Texas coastline in June 2001. It was an unusually long storm, lasting 15 days. It dropped over 40 inches of rain in Texas alone, causing severe flooding. In Texas, and along its entire path, 41 people lost their lives, and Allison caused $5.5 billion in damages. Allison was such a significant event, that it is the only tropical storm to have its name retired without ever becoming a hurricane.
September 11, 2001
On the clear, beautiful morning of September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. They flew two into both World Trade Center towers in New York City, causing their collapse. The third jet was flown into the Pentagon. On the fourth jet passengers fought back against the hijackers, resulting in the plane crashing into the ground near Shanksville, PA. Power outages and transportation disruptions resulted from the collapse of the towers for days afterwards. Two thousand, seventy people lost their lives as a result of the attacks.
Hurricane Lili

In the 2002 hurricane season, Lili became the costliest, and the deadliest tropical cyclone. The storm was a Category 4 before weakening to a Category 1 when it hit Louisiana. The storm cut off oil production in the Gulf, and caused severe damage in the state. Fifteen people lost their lives, and Lili caused damage over $1 billion.
Super-Typhoon Pongsona

In December of the same year, the Island of Guam was struck by one of the worst typhoons ever. Known as Super Typhoon Pongsona, the storm brought with it winds of 144 mph, with gusts up to 173 mph, and surf that reached 25 feet. It was a Category 3 when it made landfall. Pongsona was the third worst storm to ever hit the island. The storm caused over $700 million in damages and one death.
Veterans Day 2002 Weekend Tornadoes

Over Veterans Day weekend in 2002, a rash of tornados occurred throughout the south and Midwest. Eighty-three tornadoes were reported from November 9 through 11. The storms were spread over 17 states. Twelve of the storms killed 36 people in five different states. The outbreak was exceptional because of its long duration, large affected area, and number of tornadoes spawned. It proved to be one of the most active fall tornado seasons in US history.
Space Shuttle Columbia

On February 1, 2003, the space Shuttle Columbia broke apart during reentry. Nearly 84,000 pieces of debris fell over three states: Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. The tragedy resulted in the largest-ever, organized ground search to locate the debris.  We supplied meals to searchers who were in remote areas trying to locate human remains and shuttle fragments.
Colorado Winter Snow Storm

Six weeks later, a powerful blizzard moved into sections of Colorado. This front brought warm, moist air into the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains where temperatures had already dropped below freezing. Six feet of heavy, wet snow fell over a four-day period. The weight of the snow caused numerous roof collapses, power outages, and ultimately millions in damages.
May 2003 Tornado Outbreak Sequence

From May 3rd to the 11th, an outbreak of tornadoes occurred in 19 states in the central and eastern part of the nation, and one Canadian province. During the outbreak, 401 tornadoes were spotted, setting a record for the most reported in one week. These storms resulted in 41 deaths, 642 injuries, and approximately $829 million in damages.
Effects of Hurricane Isabel in Virginia
Hurricane Isabel made landfall on the Outer Banks in September 2003 with winds reaching 165 mph. It moved into Virginia weakening, where its rain and winds affected 99 counties. The storm surge reached nine feet causing damage to homes along rivers, and flash flooding in the mountain regions of the state. Over 1.8 million residents were without power, and Isabel proved to be the costliest disaster in Virginia’s history.
May 2004 Tornado Series

The Central and Southern U.S. experienced a series of tornado outbreaks throughout May 2004. During the period, 389 tornadoes were reported, and seven people were killed in four states. This series continued through the Memorial Day weekend, with outbreaks on May 30 and 31. Activity was concentrated in the Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys, spawning 168 tornadoes. These storms accounted for five deaths in two states. Damage for the entire series in May reached $240 million.
Tropical Storm Bonnie

The 2004 Hurricane Season was quite active. In August 2004, Tropical Storm Bonnie crossed into Florida with winds of 65 mph and a four-foot storm surge.  The storm caused tornado outbreaks across the Southeastern U.S. that downed trees and caused power outages. Three people were killed. The storm brought damages over $1 million.
Hurricane Charley
Charley struck southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on August 14, just 22 hours after Hurricane Bonnie had hit. The two storms have the distinction of being the first two tropical cyclones to hit the same state within 24 hours. Charley was the strongest hurricane to impact Florida since Andrew in 1992. It cut a diagonal path across the state, moving up the U.S. coast. It caused $13 billion in damages and 10 deaths.
Tropical Storm Gaston

The Category 1 Gaston impacted South Carolina on August 29, 2004. It then crossed into North Carolina and Virginia causing damages of $130 million and killing nine.
Hurricane Frances

Three weeks after Hurricane Charley, Frances impacted Central Florida. The Category 4 storm caused significant damage to Florida’s citrus crop. Frances moved into the Gulf of Mexico, and made a second landfall in Florida in the Panhandle region. It then moved northeast through the eastern U.S. and into Canada. 49 people were killed, and damages equaled $12 billion.
Hurricane Ivan

The ninth named storm in 2004 was Ivan. It reached Category 5 in the Gulf of Mexico and grew as large as the State of Texas. It struck Alabama as a Category 3 causing significant damage. It moved east through the southeast U.S. dropping heavy rains, then looped toward the Gulf again hitting Louisiana and Texas. It caused $18 billion in total damages, making it the fifth costliest storm.

Hurricane Jeanne

The deadliest hurricane of the 2004 season was Jeanne. The Category 2 storm made landfall in Florida just two miles from where Frances hit the coast two weeks earlier. It brought record-breaking floods as far away as New Jersey. It brought 3006 deaths, and $6.8 billion in damages.
The Indiana Ice Storm of 2005

On January 5, 2005, heavy freezing rain fell across Central Indiana. The ice accumulated to an inch in some areas, resulting in power outages for 180,000 people. The weight of the ice coupled with high winds caused numerous trees to fall, bringing down power lines and exploding transformers in the process. Power was out for days, and damage was in the millions.
Hurricane Dennis

Hurricane Dennis was the first major hurricane of what would become an incredibly active 2005 season. It made landfall on Florida’s Panhandle as a Category 3 storm on July 10. The storm caused 89 deaths, and $2.2 billion worth of damages.
Hurricane Katrina

The Category 5 hurricane was one of the five deadliest storms in the history of the United States, and the costliest natural disaster ever. It was also the sixth strongest Atlantic hurricane on record. It made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2005, wreaking an estimated $81 billion in damage, and killing 1,836 people.
Hurricane Rita

Rita made landfall in Texas on September 23, 2005. The Category 3 storm caused considerable damage: $11.3 billion. It also claimed seven lives. It was the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico, where it reached a Category 5.
Hurricane Wilma

Rita might have been the most intense storm in the Gulf, but Wilma held that title in the Atlantic! It was the fourth Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 season. On October 24 Wilma made landfall in western Florida as a Category 3 storm. Damages finally reached $32 billion, and 62 deaths were caused by the hurricane.
Extended Power Outages due to Hurricane Wilma

In the aftermath of Wilma, more than 6,000,000 residents were without power. Many remained in the dark for over 20 days. Cable TV, internet, and cell phone service remained out for up to two months in some areas. Lack of power created gasoline shortages, as well. Damages in Florida alone equaled $20 billion.
2006 Severe Thunderstorms in the Midwest

A powerful line of thunderstorms moved through the Midwest on March 31, 2006. It caused damage to homes, injured people, and knocked down power lines. Along with high winds and rain came golf-ball-sized hail that damaged property. Water runoff from spring melting was enhanced with the rainfall resulting in flash flooding.
Hurricane Humberto

On September 13, 2007 Humberto hit Texas with winds reaching 90 mph. Damage was light, only reaching $50 million. But Humberto brought significant rainfall, 14 inches, causing widespread flooding and damaging homes and roads. The storm killed one person.
Hurricane Dolly
Dolly was the second hurricane to form in the 2008 season. It made landfall as a Category 1 storm in Texas on July 23 with 85 mph winds. Some 125,000 residents lost power to their homes while the storm dropped 16 inches of rain. There were no hurricane-related deaths in Texas, but the storm did cause damages in the neighborhood of $1 billion.
Hurricane Gustav
The third hurricane of 2008 was Gustav. The largest evacuation in U.S. history, affecting 3 million people, happened in response to Gustav. On September 1 the Category 1 storm hit Louisiana, causing 4.3 billion in damages. A total 153 people lost their lives.
Hurricane Ike

It was a strong Category 2 storm when Ike made landfall near Galveston, Texas on September 13, 2008. Ike was large, and as a result, it became the second-costliest hurricane ever in the United States at $29.6 billion. In the U.S., 123 people were killed, and 23 are still missing. The effects of Ike were intense, and felt across eleven states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.  High winds with hurricane-like gusts were experienced across the Midwest, bringing one of the largest power outages ever caused by a natural disaster.
Snow Storm of December 2008
In late December 2008 a series of snowstorms occurred across the U.S. and Canada bringing record-level snowfall, and resulting in the biggest snowstorm since 1968. Snow accumulated from Seattle to Maine, closing down cities and causing power outages. In the Central Atlantic States, as much as two feet of snow fell.
January 2009 Central Plains and Midwest Ice Storm
This ice storm occurred across seven states (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky) and resulted in two million people losing power. In Western Kentucky, 100,000 went without power for over a week. This storm killed 65 people, with most deaths being blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning. Damages accumulated to $125 million.
Haiti EarthquakeOn January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred with its epicenter in the island nation of Haiti. An estimated 3 million people were affected, and some 316,000 people lost their lives. The Haiti quake was the third deadliest ever.

April 2011 Tornado Outbreak Sequence
For four days in 2011, the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history occurred. From April 25 to 28, a total of 336 tornadoes were reported in the South, Midwest and Northeast sections of the U.S. The storms left catastrophic destruction, especially in the South. April 27 was one of the most prolific and destructive tornado days in history. The outbreak killed 346 people and caused damages in excess of $10 billion.
Hurricane Irene
Irene was the ninth named storm of the 2011 season, but the first to become a hurricane. It made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 3 on August 27, and moved northeast up the east coast. The storm briefly moved back over the Atlantic, and mad a second landfall over New Jersey, making the storm the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since 1903. Considerable damage occurred in upstate New York and Vermont. Those states experienced the worst flooding there in centuries.
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