Stocking up on storm supplies

- Emergency managers say if you haven't started getting ready for Tropical Depression 9, now is the time to do it.

Even if it turns out to be just a light drizzle, that kind of preparation is essential.

With the storm bearing down on Central Florida, Alan Harris, Seminole County's emergency manager, says the time to get ready is now.

"Look over their plan, review their kit. If they need to buy any additional supplies, now's the time to do it."
 
Harris used to recommend a 72-hour kit, but he says with a storm like this, a week's prep is very important, and water is a must.

"You want to have tools in there, extra batteries, a radio, nonperishable foods, water - about a gallon of water per person, per day," he said.
 
He also recommends homeowners prepare their windows with plywood and clear away branches and debris from around powerlines.

"This is a great time to start measuring the windows. If you haven't bought rain plywood, now's the time to do it."
 
Most of these supplies are available at your local hardware store, including flashlights and generators for after the storm.

Some shoppers at Lake Mary's Home Depot say they're ready for nature's fury.

"Just getting the boards for the windows, screws, some flashlights, batteries, a few cases of bottled water. Pretty much about it," said David Gilkes, who was shopping with his daughter.

Others, though, weren't as prepared, like Kevin Blandford, shopping with his family.

"I moved here in '05 and I missed all the fun," he says, "I think I may find out eventually, but I haven't yet."
 
But, associates there say it's never too soon to prep for when this storm makes landfall.

"Best time to prepare for a hurricane?" asks Dennis Rector, "Today. Last week. This is something you have to pull together."
 
"If it doesn't even hit us," Harris reiterates, "it's still a good reminder to be prepared."
 
Emergency managers also say that anyone with special medical needs should register with their office.

That way, if they need to head to a local shelter in the storm, the staff there will be prepared to assist them.

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