Bottled water, batteries and booze: People prep for Hurricane Matthew

As Hurricane Matthew swirls toward the US, residents are getting ready.

Story highlights

  • US residents prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew
  • People have flocked to stores to stock up on food, water and other supplies

(CNN)Ethan Wegerif, 3, prepared for his first hurricane Wednesday.

He helped his mother Jennifer change the batteries in their flashlights. In fact, batteries were one of the few items remaining when Ethan and his mother visited a supermarket in Merritt Island, Florida, the other night. There was no water left. Cans of soup were "flying off the shelves," Jennifer Wegerif said via email. They spent about two hours navigating the store and standing in line to check out.
    Jennifer's husband, Dean, left work at the Kennedy Space Center early Tuesday to prepare for the deadly storm churning toward the southeastern United States.
    "We will be staying," Jennifer Wegerif said. "We will pull all of our lawn furniture and plants inside and put up our hurricane shutters. The plan is to hunker down and ride out the storm."
    Here are some other items people are loading into their shopping carts as they brace for Matthew:

    Gatorade and paper plates

    Olivia Eddy Iorrizo pushed a shopping cart through the aisles of a Deerfield Beach, Florida, store. Her cart is full of bottles of juice and other beverages. Other carts are brimming with food.
    "I'm scared of what the checkout lines are going to look like," she says in a short video posted on Twitter.
    "I stocked my grocery cart with Gatorade because when you don't have electricity for a week you're sweating, you're dehydrated and water just isn't enough. You need the potassium and electrolytes to keep you going. And when you can't wash dishes because you have no running water you need paper everything, so we bought paper plates, paper cups and plastic cutlery. I'm a huge coffee drinker, but with no electricity you can't make coffee so we bought soda as backup."
    The family's propane tanks are full -- a lesson learned in the aftermath of other storms.
    "That's actually how I heated the water in pots to be able to take warm baths. Also we had extra canisters filled up with gas for backup because usually after the storm hits the gas stations can't receive new gas and if you're out of gas, you're stuck."

    Bottles and bottles of water

    An Instagram post from Shelly Avillanoza show people filling up their shopping carts with packs of bottled water.
    "It's been very busy since yesterday," Avillanoza says. "Water shelves are empty and gas stations have long lines. Some families strategically go to different stores to get their hurricane supplies."

    'Just need booze'

    Two things are missing from Tracy Young's cart in South Florida.
    "All ready for #hurricanematthew just need booze and matches," she wrote on Instagram.
    She stocked up on bottled water, flashlights, small candles and a portable first aid kit.

    All ready for #hurricanematthew just need booze and matches... #hurricane #orlando #wind #rain #notscaredreally

    A photo posted by Tracy Young (@tracyyoung6) on

    Empty shelves

    There was not much for Debbie Troxell to load into her shopping cart at a Publix in Boca Raton, Florida.
    Kevin Wright said he was lucky to find water at a Walmart in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
    Gatorade is a hot seller there, too.