BONITA SPRINGS — The shopping rush has begun.
People are beginning to stock up for both the holiday and the hurricane. That means fireworks and flash lights, burgers and batteries.
At Ace Hardware in Bonita Springs, the store already has special sections set up with hurricane supplies, and we caught several customers on Friday already stocking up.
"We’re just doing the best we can to get water, and the pantry’s pretty stocked already," said Angela Muniz, a shopper we met outside Sam's Club.
“I’m getting water and I have a flight out Wednesday, so I hope I make it out," said another shopper who did not want to be named.
Others shoppers tell us they’re already prepared if Hurricane Elsa comes to Florida.
"I am not stocking up for the hurricane. I always am stocked up. I buy two of everything whenever I go shopping," said Sharon Gibson, who we also met outside Sam's Club.
Over at Ace Hardware, they’re telling people if you need something, this is the time to buy.
"Preparation is the key. So if you wait to the last minute, you’re going to have a lot of stress, a lot of hurry, and a lot of lines," said Chief Merchandising Officer Mike Hamblen.
That preparation is why we saw lines at the gas pump Friday, but while it’s good to be prepared, AAA is warning people not to overdo it.
"Take the gasoline that you need, but don’t hoard gasoline, because that just leads to supply issues," said AAA Spokesman Mark Jenkins.
Experts also recommend you have flashlights, batteries, and maybe even a hand crank charging device.
But above all…
"Do not panic. Breathe, just make sure you are prepared," said Gibson.
Buying supplies will also be extra easy this weekend due to the new "Freedom Week" tax free holiday on certain items until July 7th, so there’s no reason not to be prepared.