Florida Braces For Irene

News
Monday, August 22, 2011 - 1:40pm

Shoppers flock to hardware stores for storm supplies as Hurricane Irene churns off shore.

Southwest Florida residents in are already preparing for what may be the first hurricane of the season.

Shoppers are heading to local hardware stores for supplies in case Irene makes landfall nearby.

"I'm not panicking, I just want to be ready," said Jane Stephen.

Jane is picking up flashlights and water just in case she needs them.

"If the storm is headed toward southwest Florida you're not going to be getting in the stores. Everybody is going to panic, whether it's bread or water," she says.

She isn't alone.

Frank Smith was also out hunting for supplies.

"We're getting some tarps, just in case, because they had them on sale, and just a few other supplies," he said.

Disaster experts have checklists of things to buy and have ready in case of an emergency situation.

The lists include non-perishable food, water, and first-aid kits, but you should also make sure to have working flashlights and batteries.

Experts say you should also make sure your kit has at least a three day water supply to weather the storm and potential power outage afterwards.

Other basics include medications, tools, pet supplies, copies of important documents, a battery-powered radio, and extra clothes.

Smith says he only needs a few things because he keeps his kit stocked throughout the year.

"We're prepared most of the time but when storms start approaching like this is when we stock up more," he says.

Stores like Ace Hardware do the same. Managers say they get two shipments per week of supplies.

"We're selling a lot of the hurricane clips for holding plywood in, batteries, flashlights, water, tremendous amounts of water, and the battery powered fans are a big thing right now," manager John Sundria says.

Most shoppers say they're trying to get ahead of the game and we'll be watching to see how it plays out.
 

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