Southeastern Grocers is urging shoppers to prepare for what’s shaping up to be an active hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocer — whose stores are in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina — said Tuesday that customers should review the American Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist to ensure their household has a three-day supply of water and nonperishable food, extra batteries and first aid kits plus any necessary baby supplies, pet food, medicines and prescription drug refills.
Southeastern Grocers noted that three storms already have hit the Southeastern United States, impacting Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and the Carolinas. The fast start to this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began June 1, included two named storms, Arthur and Bertha, that formed in May. A third system, tropical storm Cristobal, entered the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Louisiana on June 7 and is projected to bring heavy wind and rain up through the Midwest, with remnants reaching Wisconsin and part of Michigan.
“Our communities have had to brave through many challenges throughout 2020, and we understand that our associates, our customers and our neighbors have undergone an immense amount of adversity,” Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, said in a statement. “We realize now more than ever that we are, indeed, stronger together. With experts predicting an above-average storm season, it is crucial to take the necessary precautions to prepare accordingly for more challenges ahead. Southeastern Grocers will continue to be there for our communities and provide a shopping experience our customers can always count on.”
For its own hurricane safety checklist for customers, Southeastern Grocers includes water, nonperishable food, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, paper cups and plates, plastic utensils, matches (in a waterproof container), personal hygiene products, moist towelettes, instant baby formula, diapers and garbage bags with plastic ties.
Late last month, forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, part of the National Weather Service, predicted an above-average 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA forecast a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
In terms of storms, NOAA estimates a total of 13 to 19 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes of Category 3, 4 or 5.
“The 2020 hurricane season is shaping up to be one of our busiest in recent history. As a disaster responder member, Southeastern Grocers’ support helps us to be most ready when our communities are least ready,” according to Gerald Thomas, regional CEO at the American Red Cross for the North Florida region. “We can’t thank them enough for being great partners for almost 70 years. Our communities are safer and stronger because of their support.”
With the outlook for a busy hurricane season, Southeastern Grocers said its SEG Gives Foundation is allocating $250,000 to disaster relief to ensure that the American Red Cross can provide aid to people in need. In 2019, with the support of customers, associates and vendor partners, Southeastern Grocers donated more than $675,000 to the American Red Cross to support disaster relief.
Currently, Southeastern Grocers operates 550 grocery stores under the Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más banners in seven states.