By Brittany De Lea | FOXBusiness.com
As southern and mid-Atlantic states along the East Coast brace for Hurricane Florence, consumers are flocking to home improvement and hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
A Home Depot spokesperson told FOX Business on Tuesday that regional stores are selling larger quantities of plywood, generators, flashlights and bottled water, among other items, to prepare for the Category 4 hurricane. People in the area are being advised to shutter windows with plywood to help protect homes, in addition to other precautions, such as bringing in outdoor furniture.
In the aftermath of Florence, as is the case with most hurricanes, Home Depot said it expects to see a rise in the purchase of tarps, cleaning supplies, chain saws and fuel.
A spokesperson for Lowe’s said Americans in the area are heading to stores to purchase the items needed for an emergency preparedness kit, including flashlights, batteries and weather radios. Lowe’s customers are also buying tarps, generators, plywood and bottled water, as well as sand cans and gas cans.
Meanwhile, investors appeared to have an eye on consumer spending habits leading up to the hurricane. Shares of Home Depot hit another all-time high on Wednesday, for the third day in a row, according to data compiled by FOX Business’ senior markets editor Charles Brady. Shares of Generac touched a four-and-a-half year high on Tuesday morning.
Florence is expected to make landfall Thursday. More than 1 million people are being forced to evacuate parts of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm could strengthen even further within the coming days, becoming “an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night.”
In anticipation of the storm, President Trump declared a state of emergency in North Carolina on Monday.