MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Several retail and home improvement stores across the Grand Strand say they're seeing an uptick in people walking through their doors in search of hurricane supplies.
Jeremy Striz, manager of Home Depot in Myrtle Beach, says a majority of transactions customers made on Tuesday at his store were related to Hurricane Irene.
He says the early preparations caused a shortage of portable generators early Tuesday morning. The shortage caused Striz to call in a special order that was delivered by truck later in the day.
"Obviously the product is available right now, and I think our customers are taking the threat very, very seriously," Striz said. "We've definitely seen that [immediacy among] our customers over the course of [Monday] and [Tuesday]."
Striz says the closer Hurricane Irene gets to the South Carolina coast, the less likely you are to find a large supply of storm essentials - including bottled water, flashlights, weather radios and plywood.
George Duhaime, of Surfside Beach, said Tuesday he's not taking any chances in preparing for his first hurricane as a resident on the Grand Strand. Duhaime says he came across shortages in water at some South Strand stores, but was assured more stock was on the way for the rest of the week.
"We're pretty set," he said, when asked if he has gathered all of the essentials he needs to ride out any severe weather. "We have some batteries, flashlights, candles, some magazines. We're all set."
Store managers at Target in Myrtle Beach say they also spent Tuesday receiving goods from trucks off of several vendors that supply hurricane essentials to their store.
If you're thinking of stocking up throughout the rest of the week for the storm, stores are suggesting you make a list of what you need at home so you can find what you need and get out of the crowds expected towards Thursday and Friday.