JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We've learned so many lessons from Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma about how to prepare when the storms head our way. Most Floridians know the drill and already have plenty of the essentials on hand, but there are a number of items you may need that don’t necessarily come to mind at the store.
That’s where the Build-A-Kit That Fits program comes in. The initiative, a partnership between News4Jax and Ace Hardware, is designed to help you get an early start on hurricane preparations, tailor shopping lists to fit your needs and save money while you’re at it.
News4Jax looked at what items were in demand at Ace stores in the days leading up to and after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. Read about the top sellers BEFORE the hurricane here like rope, gas cans, tub stoppers, charcoal and extension cords.
We also looked at the items flying off of the shelf after the hurricane pushed through, and found a few surprises there also.
Pool Care Items
Pool chlorine, pool salt, and pool shock were top sellers locally after Hurricane Irma. People were trying to get their backyard pools back in good condition after the dozens of inches of rain, or even worse if flood waters intruded on their pool.
Outdoor extension cords
The winds may have died down, but most of us were days away from having electricity restored in Irma's aftermath. People rushed to the store to purchase outdoor extension cords to run from generators, which should operate outside for safety purposes, to their appliances they needed to power the most. Throughout the month of June, you can save 20% on extension cords and plugs as a part of our Build A Kit That Fits program at your neighborhood Ace Hardware.
Bar and chain oil
For weeks after the storm you could hear the roar of chainsaws in almost every neighborhood as people worked to clear the trees that succumbed to Irma's winds and the limbs littering their property. With all of that chainsaw work, stores were selling bar and chain oil at a high rate. 2-cycle engine oil was also a best seller during this time, helping to power different lawn equipment used to clear the debris. Both bar and chain oil and 2-cycle engine oil are also a part of our Build A Kit That Fits program with Ace Hardware, meaning you can save 20% on these items throughout the month of June.
Is your rake in good shape? Can you find it? For most of us, the answer was no - because some local Ace Hardware locations almost sold out of rakes in the days after Irma. If you are one of the lucky ones with no significant damage and only a messy yard, the first thing you want to do is get that cleaned up and back in order. You wouldn't need to wait for local stores to reopen if you go ahead and pick one up now.
Tarps and plastic sheeting
After hurricane Irma, many roofs were damaged, either from high wind gusts or limbs, trees, and other debris falling on them. Those with damage rushed the doors of the opening stores to secure tarps and plastic sheeting to shield the contents of their homes from further rain. Both tarps and plastic sheeting are also a part of our Build A Kit That Fits program with Ace Hardware, meaning you can save 20% on these items throughout the month of June. This item would be even more valuable to have on hand early to protect the inside of your home from rain as soon as possible after the damage occurs.
Box fans flew off of the shelves also. For those with water damage to their homes, they ran the box fans to expedite the drying out process in an attempt to limit the mold and mildew issues that could occur. Even those without water damage grabbed a box fan to run off of their generator until the electricity was restored in an attempt to stay cool.
Heavy duty trash bags were a top seller after Irma also. We stuffed the trash bags full of yard debris and storm debris, we empties our refrigerator and freezers of ruined food, and we tried to throw away all of the reminders of the storm that bore down on us.