EASTON - Residents who started preparing early for Hurricane Sandy's arrival might be surprised to find themselves waiting in line for large-item essentials like generators.
Lowe's of Easton currently is out of stock and must rely on a waiting list, which had 67 names mid-afternoon Friday, to ensure customers get their orders filled efficiently.
Friday saw business picking up at Lowe's and Food Lion as locals bought bottled water, cleaning supplies, storable food and the storm essentials: batteries, sump pumps, chain saws, buckets, brooms and mops.
Will Braxton, the assistant manager of Lowe's Easton, said about 240 generators are on order and should arrive at the store in the next 24 to 48 hours. However, customers must call and put their name on the waiting list to purchase one.
Braxton also suggested keeping three gallons of bottled water per person on hand should the power go out and drinking water become unavailable.
"As long as it's safe, we will be operating under normal business hours to prepare for the storm," he said, adding management and staff were ready to get their customers whatever they needed in the coming days.
Employees of other local businesses Friday battened down the hatches. The staff at Higgins Yacht Yard in St. Michaels spent the morning lifting boats from the marina, folding sails, removing fixtures from the vessels remaining in the water and giving time-tested advice on how to weather the storm.
Bryon Reilly, co-owner of Higgins since 1973, said boat owners should call their insurance agency to get detailed information their coverage in cases of tree damage, flooding and loss of property. Some agencies will even pay half the fee to tow a boat from the water if it means saving it from total loss, he said.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency urged residents to prepare now for Hurricane Sandy, which might affect the Mid-Shore area as early as Sunday. Though forecasts are still uncertain, computer models are predicting the path of the storm to move closer to the Atlantic coastal states as the system develops.
Sandy could bring as much as 48 hours of heavy rain and strong winds. MEMA warned that potential issues could be stream and tidal flooding, trees falling due to the combination of wind and wet ground and power outages caused by winds and falling trees.
To prepare now for the possible effects of the storm, MEMA advised residents to follow weather forecasts, stay informed and make a To Do list of important tasks:
- Prepare for possible power outages that may last several days.
- Expect daytime temperatures to drop and keep extra blankets and appropriate clothing on hand.
- Be sure to keep generators away from doors, windows and ventilation systems.
- Keep cell phones and electronic devices charged and consider purchasing a car charger as a backup.
- Secure loose items such as patio furniture and grills outside.
- Make sure to have a disaster kit on hand with water, non-perishable food, a change of clothes, and any special items needed for infants, children and pets.
- Have a battery-operated or crank-powered radio available to follow news and weather reports if the power goes out.
- Assume stores will be crowded and running low on stock. Shop early.
- If power goes out, remember to practice safe food handling.
- Don't drive in heavy rains or standing water.
For more information on how to prepare, visit www.Mema.maryland.gov/prepared.