The month of June officially marks the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic.
In the next six months, American families living on the eastern and southeastern coasts of the U.S. could potentially face strong storms that lead to property damage. However, major building supply and home improvement store chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot are already helping customers prepare for inclement weather.
"Lowe’s associates across our hurricane markets are storm-tested from last year’s record-breaking season and ready for what’s expected to be another active season," a Lowe’s spokesperson wrote to FOX Business. "Our stores are fully stocked with the essential supplies needed to prepare for the first storm of the season, whether you are a do-it-yourself or a Pro who is providing critical products and services to communities."
"It’s important for people to remember to get ready well ahead of the storm. Don’t wait until you see the storm on the radar. Get started now and you won’t get caught off-guard," Lowe’s statement continued. "The supplies we see that are typically in demand ahead of storms include weather radios, flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, generators, tarps, hurricane shutters, plywood and chainsaws."
Similarly, a spokesperson for Home Depot told FOX Business that the company urges customers to have an "Emergency Preparedness Kit" before the storm season starts, which may include a large storage tote that holds lanterns, tarp clips ratchet tie-downs and more.
Home Depot also advises customers in storm-prone regions to consider worst-case scenarios where portable or permanent generators may need to be involved for power outages that can last days or weeks at a time.
Both home improvement stores stressed the importance of generator safety since the exhaust generated from these machines contain carbon monoxide. Some generators come built with CO detectors, but when this safety tool isn’t provided, it is imperative to follow installation directions closely.
"With portable generators though, always be in the know. They can also pose serious dangers if operated improperly. Fortunately, it’s easy to stay safe by reading your owner’s manual before operating your generator and following a few generator safety guidelines," Home Depot’s spokesperson wrote to FOX Business. "Make sure the generator is always running outside with the exhaust directed away from openings to the home or nearby buildings – at least 20-feet from any occupied buildings."
Per store and corporate policies, representatives at Lowe’s and Home Depot were unable to comment on current hurricane prep sales.
However, it’s likely that customers will continue to shop for essential items in the coming weeks.
Aside from home goods and safety supplies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people who live in hurricane zones this year to get COVID-19 vaccines, hand sanitizer, face masks and emergency food, water and medicine.
The health agency is also advising families have go-kits prepared for emergency evacuations in addition to practicing physical distancing if you come into contact with anyone not living in your household when outside or indoors.
Hurricane season will likely conclude on Nov. 30, according to recent forecasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts 2021’s hurricane season will be "active," but will not see a "historic level of storm activity" as seen Americans saw last year.