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

Hurricane Florence

Getty Hurricane Florence is causing several event cancellations. Here's what we know so far.

Hurricane Florence is barrelling toward the southeastern U.S. coast, and as residents of the area prepare for the Category 4 storm to hit, knowing where to get last minute food, water and preparation supplies is essential.

A map from the National Hurricane Center shows a forecast cone and coastal watches and warnings below. Current projections show Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast, threatening North and South Carolina this week.

Hurricane Florence North Carolina map

National Hurricane Center

If you are still preparing for Hurricane Florence, it is vital that you get the rest of your supplies as soon as possible. Pictures of vacant grocery store shelves are already flooding social media, as Florence is expected to be a “dangerous, major hurricane,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

When it comes to planning what to prepare for the hurricane, water, dried and/or canned foods, and batteries are among the most important items to stock.

“All types of groceries, canned goods and water are the most important things. You can get by without power as long as you have the necessities,” said Richard Maher, the manager of a Charlotte hardware store, according to WBTV.

Thousands of users flooded Twitter, posting warning pictures of empty shelves. Although many of the same grocery stores re-stock every day, it is still essential to try to stock up as much as possible before the storm fully hits the shore.

Your best bet in these last few days is to arrive as early as possible to a store when it opens, as most deliveries of fresh supplies arrive early in the morning. It is also important to note that many places that have supplies may have long lines, so prepare in advance.

If weather permits, traveling a short distance out of town, or to areas that are less likely to be impacted by the storm may benefit in stocking up on supplies.

To conserve water for flushing toilets, you can always fill your bathtub with water in advance so you don’t have to dip into your bottled water supply.

You can also often find distilled water in the baby food section if shelves are already empty when you get to the store.

According to FOX19, Impact with Hope is sending a shipment of supplies to those on the East Coast Wednesday and Thursday, so continue to keep an eye out for last minute shipments.

Grocery stores across Charlotte are working to keep bottled water, milk, eggs, bread, batteries, flashlights, pet supplies and canned meats on the shelves. Blackhawk Hardware in Charlotte is expecting a shipment of generators Tuesday afternoon, according to WCNC.

Heavy will continue to update as more information is known regarding stores with extra stock of emergency supplies.

To prepare for the hurricane and evacuation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has suggested a list of items to keep in the event of a disaster. Check out more resources at

Recommended Emergency Supplies List:

  • Water – at least a gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene
  • Non-perishable foods, such as dried fruit, peanut butter, canned tuna, etc.
  • Flashlights, batteries, & battery-powered radio
  • First aid kit & a whistle to signal help
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for canned foods
  • Dusk mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape (to help filter contaminated air)

Additional Items To Consider:

  • Prescription medication &
  • Formula, diapers & wipes for infants
  • Important documents (insurance policies, ID, social security card, passport, etc.) all locked in a waterproof container or ziplock bag
  • Cash, checks, debit & credit cards, bank records
  • Sleeping bag, blankets, pillows for everyone in the family
  • Fire extinguisher, matches, lighters, in a waterproof container
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap & other toiletries
  • Paper or plastic eating utensils (plates, cups, utensils, etc.)
  • Cell phone charger, extra or solar-powered battery
  • Books, games & puzzles – to keep yourself and kids busy and distracted
  • A portable generator, if you have access to one

The Red Cross advises that you need at least a three-day supply of water and food, including one gallon of water per person per day. The food should be non-perishable and easy-to-prepare food.

The site also encourages packing household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper in your hurricane preparation kit. When diluted (nine parts water to one part bleach), bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. (Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners).

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