This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Fiona in the Caribbean on Sunday. (NOAA via AP)
By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
WITH the hurricane season heating up, local stores are advising Bahamians to make the necessary preparations in advance of a major storm.
The marketing director at CBS Bahamas told this newspaper that the store has not seen a large increase in the number of persons purchasing hurricane supplies, however, they have seen people window shopping in hopes of purchasing these items.
“For the most part, we do have people who come in for our display, they mostly check it out, and see what we have to offer because every season, we basically do a percentage off of hurricane supplies,” Shawn Gomez said during a recent interview.
“We do see a lot of people checking them out, but I can’t say that there has been a large increase in the numbers of persons purchasing those items,” she added.
Ms Gomez expressed the importance of knowing your environment and the effects a natural disaster such as a hurricane would have on one’s community.
“To be prepared to understand your home and the (effects) that a natural disaster like a hurricane would have on your community and your surroundings,” she said.
“We really want to get Bahamians into the idea that they can purchase these items (hurricane supplies) anytime as we sell these items throughout the year, and they can purchase them as they go and store up and then have them for use for hurricane season.”
Sharing similar views, Adrian Burrows, general manager of JBR Building Supplies, said from past experience Bahamians tend to wait until the “ninth” hour to purchase hurricane supplies.
“They don’t want to spend that money, they wait until the ninth hour and they realise they have to spend it then they spend,” he told The Tribune.
According to Mr Burrows, the most common hurricane supplies purchased include: nails, concrete screws, barrel bolts, flashlights, duct tape and sandbags.
The general manager also urged locals to be prepared at all times.
“We live in a hurricane zone, be prepared all the time, don’t wait for a hurricane to show up on the charts,” he said. “This is our natural disaster so we should be prepared at all times — shutters should be in your garage, generators and lights should be something you have on hand at all times.”
Despite these views that Bahamians need to be more prepared, Anthony Roberts, general manager of City Lumber Yard, disagreed.
“Generally, it’s been my experience that the Bahamian public prepares a bit in advance now whether you would say a week in advance maybe not, but most of our folks will try and work ahead of things, but, of course, there will always be a little last-minute rush,” Mr Roberts said.
He said the uncertainty of a storm’s path contributes toward local’s reluctance to purchase hurricane supplies in advance.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.