Hurricane Harvey: Where to Buy Water, Food & Supplies Last Minute

Getty The canned foods section of a Walmart store is almost empty in this Houston store.

If you’re still preparing for Hurricane Harvey, you really should be getting all of your supplies as soon as possible. Many stores, especially in areas near the coast, are already sold out of water and basic foods like bread and canned goods.

But if you still haven’t gotten all your supplies yet, here are a few ideas that might help.

Your best bet is to arrive early in the morning, since many stores may receive a fresh delivery of supplies first thing in the morning. Or call the store in advance and ask when their next truck delivery of the items you need is arriving, and get to the store before that time. Many people may be lined up for hours waiting for the next round of supplies to arrive, so if you find a store that has a delivery coming, you might just want to show up early.

A Sam’s Club employee in Corpus Christi told ABC News on Thursday that they were sold out of bread and water. They get stocked every day, she said, but are sold out within an hour of truck deliveries and there’s typically a line of people waiting. Sam’s Club is waiving membership requirements for areas in South Texas.

HEB also reiterated that just because they’re sold out at one time, don’t give up. They are constantly replenishing their water supplies, usually in the morning:

Wherever you go, prepare yourself for long lines. On Thursday in the Houston area, there were already long lines at Wal-Mart and local grocery stores, ABC 13 reported.

And prepare yourself for possible fights.

One store you might want to try is Kroger. WFAA reported that Kroger is sending 80 truckloads of water and other supplies from the DFW region to southeast Texas. Randall’s will also be receiving supplies from its sister distribution center in Dallas and will receive new supplies daily.

Another trick: if you don’t see any water, look in the baby food or baby section. Sometimes you can find distilled water there.

You might also try shopping about 30 to 45 minutes outside of town, if the weather permits.

If you don’t have sandbags, which are sold out in many areas, you can fill trash bags with topsoil, Coastal Hardware’s manager told ABC News.

Some people are even trying Amazon’s same-day delivery, if they can find available stock in their region. But remember: depending on the weather, anything you order online might not be able to be delivered on time. So try your local stores so you have your supplies on hand.

And you can always fill bathtubs with water and use that water for flushing toilets, so you don’t have to dip into your bottled water supply for that. (And don’t forget to get enough water and food for your pets!) You can even try buying personal water filtration devices like the LifeStraw, if they’re sold at your local Walmart or sports store.

Here’s what the National Hurricane Center suggests for your basic disaster supply kit:

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Then consider these additional supplies:

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lense solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Do you have any other ideas or suggestions? Let your fellow readers know in the comments below.