Hurricane Irene hasn't hit the East Coast yet, but people up and down the Eastern Seaboard already are crowding hardware stores, grocers and big-box retailers like Home Depot and Wal-Mart to pick up $599 generators, bottled water and flashlights in preparation for the hurricane, which is expected to make landfall by Saturday.
The top two U.S. home improvement stores, Home Depot and Lowe's Inc., which both have disaster teams to deal with logistics during hurricanes and other emergencies, said they are working hard to supply their stores with items that are needed during and after the hurricane. Home Depot's emergency preparedness team started working this weekend with its stores in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which have already been hit by Irene. By Thursday morning, Home Depot had 300 trucks out supplying its East Coast stores with products that are in demand, like generators.
Mark Cooper, senior director of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s emergency management team, said the world's biggest retailer is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure that stores have all the items on a list for emergency preparedness kits. "Our stores are busy," said Keith Dailey, a Kroger spokesman. Sales are so strong that Dorran Hulse, the store's manager, said he had to order an additional shipment of hurricane-related items.
Hurricane Irene hasn't hit the East Coast yet, but people already are crowding hardware stores, grocers and big-box retailers like Wal-Mart to pick up $599 generators, bottled water, batteries and flashlights in preparation for the hurricane, which is expected to make landfall by Saturday. Lines at Home Depot in Kitty Hawk, N.C., are unusually long. And at an Ace Hardware in Nags Head, N.C., the store sold out of portable generators.
Stores across Mahwah are bracing for Hurricane Irene as residents are stocking up on water, food and technical essentials in preparation for this weekend's storm.
The Home Depot on Route 17 North was sold out of generators and sump pumps as of 11:30 a.m. Friday, according to a store manager.