The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be particularly active, and another storm is headed for the East Coast now, so preparing for storms, which could make landfall along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast, will be especially important.
The National Weather Service is already projecting 13 to 19 storms with winds of 39 mph or higher, throughout the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30. However, officials are projecting that six to 10 of those storms could become hurricanes with three to six potentially becoming major hurricanes.
Hurricanes can potentially knock out power, block roads, disrupt the response of emergency services, and cause stores and pharmacies to close for an extended period. The novel coronavirus is only adding to the complexity of the situation, which is why officials are encouraging residents to be well prepared ahead of time.
In doing so, Southeastern Grocers Inc., which is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the nation and owns and operates, BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, compiled a list of items it believes people should have stocked up in preparation for a storm.
"We realize now more than ever that we are indeed, stronger together," said Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, said. "With experts predicting an above average storm season, it is crucial to take the necessary precautions to prepare accordingly for more challenges ahead."
At the same time, the company is encouraging its customers to also review the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Safety Checklist for what it considers are vital items for hurricane preparation especially with three storms already impacting areas throughout the Southeast.
"The 2020 hurricane season is shaping up to be one of our busiest in recent history," said American Red Cross Regional CEO Gerald Thomas.
FOX Business dug into both lists to give residents a better idea of what it means to be prepared for an upcoming storm.
The Southeastern Grocers' list includes the following items:
- Non-perishable food
- Instant formula
- Personal hygiene/feminine supplies
- Paper cups
- Paper plates
- Plastic utensils
- Moist towelettes in a waterproof container
- First aid kit
- Garbage bags and plastic ties
Comparatively, here's the list that the Red Cross says should be in your survival kit.
At a minimum the kit should include:
- One gallon of water per person, per day. The Red Cross recommends a three-day supply for evacuation and a two-week supply for home.
- Non-perishable food that's easy to prepare. The Red Cross recommends a three-day supply for evacuation and a two-week supply for home.
- Flashflight and extra batteries
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio. The non-profit suggests using an NOAA Weather Radio, if possible.
- A family first aid kit that can be purchased online at the Red Cross for $35.
- A seven day supply of medications and medical items.
- A multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Residents should also keep copies of personal documents such as a medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies. Residents should also keep a copy of family and emergency contact information
- Cell phone with chargers
- Extra cash
- An emergency blanket
- A map of the area
The Red Cross says when considering an entire family, residents should add the following:
- Any necessary medical supplies such as hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses and syringes
- Baby supplies such as bottles, formula, baby food and diapers
- Games and any other activities for children
- Pet supplies including a collar, leash, ID, food, carrier and bowl
- Two-way radios for communication
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
If hurricanes or other disasters are common within your area the Red Cross suggests adding items such as a whistle, N95 mask, rain gear, towels, duct tape, scissors, sleeping bags, matches, plastic sheeting, extra clothes, household liquid bleach and work gloves.
Prior to a storm, the Red Cross says to check the emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, "especially medications or other medical supplies."
The Red Cross also has emergency apps that monitor severe weather in the area available for iPhones and Androids.