MIAMI (WSVN) - As Hurricane Irma looms in the Atlantic Ocean, some South Florida residents have decided to begin preparing in case Irma makes a turn toward the Sunshine State.
- Related: Must Have Storm Supplies
Although it’s too early to tell if South Florida will be hit, some residents aren’t taking any chances. At a Miami Shores Publix, while some shoppers were buying items for Labor Day barbecues, many others could be seen filling their carts with water and other supplies.
“Obviously, get ready ahead of time. We have food, as you can see. We have our music. We just have a good time. We don’t worry about it and we pray,” said shopper Jacqueline Kimbrough.
“The most important thing is to always be prepared. Be ready and expect the worst and if nothing else bad happens, you can have a great party in your backyard after the storm is over,” said Joe Schwartz.
“It’s not good for you. It’s not good for the stress,” Schwartz said. “You have to do it early, as early as you can.”
Should a hurricane hit South Florida, residents are urged to have enough food and water to last three days for every person in your household. When shopping, think about purchasing ice for coolers, water, bread with a late expiration date, peanut butter and jelly, and foods that don’t require electricity to prepare, as well as non-perishable items, such as canned goods and almonds and trail mix.
For the babies, parents are advised to have at least one week’s worth of food, diapers and whatever else they may need.
Residents who take prescription medications should stop at their pharmacy and ensure they have enough handy.
At a Home Depot in Hollywood, people like Jeff Davis could be seen buying hardware in preparation for the potential storm.
“Better to be safe than sorry,” Davis said. “It could potentially be a Category 4 or 5, and I can’t prepare Thursday or Friday, so now’s the day to do it.”
Supplies useful through the storm include batteries, flashlights and a battery-powered TV and radio. Tarps can also be placed on roofs to help keep water out of the house, and plywood and shutters to protect windows.
“It’s important that you prepare,” said Scattina Rameau with Little Haiti Hardware. “It can mean the difference between life and death in some cases.”
“We have a lot of windows, but we have shutters, too,” said shopper Jamie Mink. “We’re gonna cover it with plywood just to be safe.”
Many people are spending the Labor Day holiday making Irma preparations. Miami resident Wesley Desa came to Home Depot because he has an installation project on his hands.
The father of four was unable to find the hardware he needed near his home, so he drove north to load up. “Put that into the concrete and put your shutters up, and should be safe, should be secure,” he said.
Desa said he is still not sure whether or not he will stay and ride out the storm.
It’s also important to fill up your car’s gas tank and getting cash from ATMs. A 7News viewer emailed a photo of the line to buy propane gas at Hollywood’s Big Mini Food Store.
Supermarkets like the Miami Shores Publix were out of water as of Monday evening.
7News viewers sent in pictures of empty shelves at Publix supermarkets in Country Walk and Davie. Another viewer sent in a photo of long checkout lines at a Wal-Mart in South Miami-Dade.
Broward resident Joan Nagar said she’s been striking out at multiple spots during her water run. “Wal-Mart, CVS, Target [are out],” she said.
However, market officials said it’s early in the week and they will likely get new shipments in soon.
Natives know the rule: They should have one gallon of water per family per day.
Over the next few days, Nagar said, she will be preparing her home. “Take in all the patio furniture, the plants, the chairs. You know, the whole ritual,” she said.
Officials at the Hollywood Home Depot said it is also running low on water, but they are expected to get a new shipment on Tuesday.
For more information on how to prepare for a storm, click here.
For the latest on Hurricane Irma, click here.
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