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At the outset of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season -- which experts are predicting will be an above-average year for tropical activity, with up to 12 named storms -- Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., is positioning itself as a go-to retailer to help individuals and businesses plan and be adequately prepared for tropical storms.
“Now is the time to prepare for a tropical storm,” said Robin Miller, director of communications for Winn-Dixie, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla. – squarely within the hurricane belt. “Our neighborhood stores are stocked with key items to help our customers get ready.”
Miller noted that the Red Cross and emergency management officials urge people to have a “hurricane kit” with enough bottled water, canned and nonperishable foods, paper products, flashlights and batteries to last at least three days in case a tropical storm knocks out power. Experts suggest keeping on hand 1 gallon of water per person per day, along with food and first-aid supplies. The grocer is also selling Oregon Scientific Weather Radios for $39.99 in all of its 520 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.
The regional retailer also has equipped its regional distribution centers in Miami; Orlando Fla.; Jacksonville; and Hammond, La., as well as 82 stores throughout its operating area, with 500-kilowatt diesel-powered generators in areas that have been affected by power outages associated with hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years. All of the generators have been tested and are ready for use.
“The installation of these powerful generators allows us to be better prepared and serve our customers in the event of a storm,” said Miller. “They will enable our stores to remain open and functional in the aftermath of a hurricane or tropical storm, even if local power has not been restored.”