The Salvation Army of the Shoals preparing for mobilization

FLORENCE, Ala. – Disaster relief groups are preparing for deployment to the East Coast once Hurricane Florence moves ashore. In the Shoals, The Salvation Army is on stand-by waiting for the phone call to leave.

For the last several days, the supply checklists have been gone over repeatedly. The Emergency Disaster Services Canteen for The Salvation Army of the Shoals is packed and ready to go.

“As soon as we get the phone call we roll out of the parking lot, there is no hesitation,” stated Capt. Benjamin Deuel with The Salvation Army of the Shoals.

During his tenure with The Salvation Army, Captain Deuel has worked on many disasters from the Gulf Coast to tornadoes in Oklahoma. He says the victims are always grateful for the outpouring of support.

“I could go back disaster after disaster and just talk to you about people who are humble and are just thankful that they still have their lives even though they have lost everything,” Deuel explained.

Which is why it’s so important for him to go and help. The big white disaster van is the means to fulfill his calling. “We meet people at their need, and for us anyway it’s not this fake thing. We really want to be a positive in their lives at that point.”

They could still use some help from the public before they leave. Capt. Deuel says they are running low on some supplies. They could really use donations of Gatorade, Powerade, and snack packs to take to the East Coast. Donations can be made at The Salvation Army offices on Huntsville Road in Florence.

If you're unable to get supplies to The Salvation Army of the Shoals, monetary donations can be made online for disaster relief by visiting The Salvation Army web site.