How to prepare for this weekend’s potential storm

MIAMI (WSVN) - Stores are stocking up and shoppers are gathering up supplies ahead of what’s expected to be a rough weekend of wet weather.

While South Florida residents haven’t had to prepare for many storms in the past couple of years, this weekend’s system is already crossing over the Caribbean, so it’s time to get your home and family storm-ready.

If the storm does in fact threaten South Florida, according to experts, residents should already have had hurricane essentials from the beginning of the storm season.

At a Publix supermarket in Miami Shores, bottled water is laid out conveniently at the front of the store, as well as batteries, canned milk, nonperishable items, including oatmeal and peanut butter.

Other supplies that may be needed for the storm can also be found at a Home Depot in North Miami like flashlights, batteries, generators, tarps and trash bags.

7News spoke with some shoppers who were stocking up. “I hope we’re not gonna get it, but I’m getting ready,” said Sandi Schneider, who was buying water. “If we don’t get the storm, which I hope, I can always use the water.”

A Home Depot manager believes that preparation is key for the storm. “People are already purchasing their supplies, preparing, which we encourage the community to do,” said Home Depot manager, Liz Seamone. “We want to make sure that, yes, even though we don’t know yet, the storm, that they’re picking up essentials to prepare for the storm.”

There are a few tips to prepare for the worst. Let’s begin with the basics. You’ll want enough supplies to last at least three days.

You’ll need enough packs of bottled water, or gallon jugs of water, to give each person in your residence at least two gallons of water per day.

Then, make sure to have basic food items, such as milk, bread, canned foods, simple meals that can be prepared without power and plenty of dry snacks.

If you have children, don’t forget to stock up on a week’s worth of baby food, formula and diapers.

And if you have pets, stock up on pet food and water for them, as well.

Related: Be Ready: How to prepare for a storm 

Next, make sure to refill all necessary medications you or your family members may need. Make sure to have a week or more of medication available on hand.

And if the power goes out, make sure to have working flashlights, battery-operated candles and lanterns and batteries in your home.

If you have never purchased storm shutters for your home, consider purchasing hurricane shutters this weekend or after work this week.

And lastly, make sure to tie down, secure or bring inside all loose objects such as outdoor furniture, pots, yard tools and bicycles before any storm hits.

Then, make sure your vehicle is filled with enough gas to last a week. Also, make sure to have extra cash on hand, since there is no guarantee stores will accept credit cards during a power outage.

This list may sound like a lot, but these steps are essential to keep in mind if you live in South Florida.

Concurrently, as residents prepare for this weekend’s potential storm, cruise ship companies are also starting to take precautionary measures.

Royal Caribbean has changed the itinerary for two of its ships. Oasis of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas will be skipping their stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas and St. Kitts.

It’s also important to go over any possible evacuation plans and to find a safe place inside your home in case you have to ride out a storm.

For more information on what you should do before, during and after a storm, visit our guide: Be Ready: How to prepare for a storm

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