Salvation Army teams deployed as Hurricane Florence hits the Carolinas

(Photo: ABC 11 News screengrab)Hurricane Florence makes its way for the east coast of the US

Salvation Army teams have been deployed in eastern US to provide immediate relief for people affected by Hurricane Florence.

A 17-strong team and five mobile feeding units have been sent to the region from The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division in anticipation of Florence.

The storm has prompted evacuation orders across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, affecting up to 1.7 million people.

The Salvation Army USA said two additional mobile feeding units were being prepared for deployment to assist post-landfall over the weekend.

Terry Lightheart, Director of Emergency Disaster Services said, 'The ALM Division of The Salvation Army continues to participate in daily coordination calls with its counterparts in the North & South Carolina Division (NSC) to determine gaps and unmet needs for the area.

'This storm is slated to be a catastrophic event which will likely overwhelm local resources and require several months of service.

'We are all partners in the effort to provide disaster relief to those in need and will continue to provide personnel and equipment, such as mobile feeding units to NSC, for as long as needed.'

Salvation Army response units are staged in Roanoke, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to food and shelter, the units will also provide spiritual support to people affected by the storm.

Major Jim Arrowood, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Kentucky and Tennessee, said, 'This holistic approach is part of what makes The Salvation Army unique and meaningful in everyday lives, but particularly in times of disaster.'

Storm surges have already started along the coast of North Carolina, and the eye of the storm is predicted to make landfall on Friday morning.

Christians are praying that the storm will not reach catastrophic levels as predicted.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church and president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, said, 'As many of our fellow Americans brace themselves for the coming of Hurricane Florence, I want to urge Christians and churches to pray for the protection of life in the next several days.

'If there's even the remotest possibility, let us ask God for a miracle — for this storm to pass without causing the catastrophic damage that's been forecasted.' 

He asked Christians to pray 'whatever the outcome' for families seeking shelter during the storm, as well as first responders who will be away from their own families.

'To all who have evacuated and find themselves in the projected path of this storm: know that you're in our prayers, but even more important, know that God is with all who call and rely on him,' he said.