Savannah residents stocking up on supplies in midst of Hurricane Irma threat

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Days ahead of any potential local impact from Major Hurricane Irma, certain items are flying off the shelves of grocery and home improvement stores.

Retailers are trying to keep up with the high demand of popular items like bottled water, generators, batteries, and plywood. Some stores are running low on supplies but are expecting shipments later this week to keep up with demand. It seems a lot of shoppers still have Hurricane Matthew on their minds, and with the way Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas, they're not taking any chances.

With bottled water quickly disappearing from the shelves of larger chain grocery stores and big-box stores, local markets could prove to be a good backup for shoppers looking to stock up.

"Might as well, can't hurt to have some," said shopper, Andreza Dejesus.

Dejesus loaded up a few gallon jugs of water before checking out at Lucky's Market, hoping Major Hurricane Irma won't give her family a reason to need them.

"Stay at sea," she said.

The shelves at Home Depot on Victory Drive have been picked through, generators completely gone and plywood following suit.

"I'm not surprised that they're already running low on supplies as far as plywood and water," said shopper, Freddy Roberts.

Roberts says he thinks going through a hurricane less than a year ago may be pushing people to be more proactive.

"People are just jumping on it early. They don't want to wait until the last minute. That's the worst thing they can do," he said.

Others have also noticed what appears to be a change in mindset for many residents toward storm preparedness.

"We've had several people talk about, this time they're going to evacuate, so they're just going to board up their house and evacuate just in case," said Home Depot Store Manager Mike Brodt.

The store manager says there are some things shoppers can do to avoid a headache as they look for storm supplies.

"If you're looking for anything in particular like generators or plywood, call first. Make sure we have it," he said.

Brodt says in any emergency storm prep situation, Home Depot typically restocks crucial items within a day or two.

We've heard that some stores were handing bottled water to customers right off the pallet as they were coming in. It's a trend we expect to see continue as the week progresses, so keep that in mind as you head to the store to shop for those essential items.

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