As Hurricane Sandy continued its slow jaunt into the eastern seaboard Monday, people could still be seen heading for their favorite stores over the weekend. Shopping carts at many stores showed the usual bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper. Many had enough snacks to host a Super Bowl party!
But there were carts at other stores piled high with flashlights, batteries, extension cords, candles and lighters. Some stores were prominently displaying charcoal as a hot sales item for people willing and able to cook on a charcoal grill when the power goes out. Dollar stores, as well as Walmarts, had bare shelves as staff worked hard to keep various items stocked. Some items were simply sold out.
As D batteries were sold out, people were looking for alternatives such as automatic cabinet lights that took little button batteries... anything that would provide illumination in the dark during power failures, even keyring flashlights were sold out in many locations. Candles of every shape and size were also flying off the shelves. While these are not highly recommended by the fire department as a safe alternative, customers were buying what was available rather than have to sit in the dark.
There was no answer at the Rosedale Home Depot, possibly due to a lack of staff and/or weather related problems. However, it is a safe bet that they too have sold out of everything. Lines were quite evident at the Golden Ring location over the weekend.
In speaking with the Home Depot in Parkville, they are once again out of generators. The manager there said the store had already sold approximately 60 generators—well over its normal stock. As of 8 a.m., Monday morning, he is not expecting another truck delivery in part due to the severe weather that has already arrived.
Tom at Home Depot on Joppa Road told me that district-wide Home Depot has sold approximately 700 generators. His latest truck delivery was sold out within an hour. He also said they weren't selling too much as we spoke because they were sold out of just about everything: extension cords, flashlights, batteries, etc. He also said no new supplies would be arriving—at least for the time being, due to the weather and Maryland Department of Transportation travel restrictions.
It is recommended that people stay home and stay off the roads. However, IF you feel you still need emergency supplies, try calling ahead before going out. Many stores are sold out of many basic necessities. Don't waste your gas driving around in dangerous conditions.