Customers stock up on bottled water at Costco, located at 77th street West Flagler, as Miami-Dade County prepares on Thursday, August 29, 2019 for the possible impact of Hurricane Dorian.

Customers stock up on bottled water at Costco, located at 77th street West Flagler, as Miami-Dade County prepares on Thursday, August 29, 2019 for the possible impact of Hurricane Dorian.

Mother nature has a stranglehold on Florida.

Two months into the season, Hurricane Dorian is set to hit Florida’s east coast Monday afternoon.

As always, preparation is key. That means avoid waiting to the weekend to stock up — especially with Labor Day festivities already stripping stores of their stock.

No one wants to be left without the essentials because they procrastinated. Whether you’re an All-American hurricane survivor or a rookie just getting their feet wet, Hurricane Dorian will be arriving on South Florida’s doorstep regardless of your level of preparation.

To help, here’s a list of tasks that can be done before the weekend.

Buy water/food/batteries/gas/and get cash: Stock up on non-perishable items, batteries and bottled water. While selling out of certain items is always a possibility, retailers and supermarkets are working to keep shelves stocked with “critical supplies and products,” says Walmart spokesman Casey Staheli. Also, don’t forget to fill up your gas tank and take out cash.

Buy boots and rain gear: Miami is known for flooding. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying out of floodwaters, some times it’s unavoidable. That means high rubber boots. Floodwaters can contain stray animals, downed power lines and various contaminants that can lead to illness. Rubber boots are often your best defense.

Charge portable chargers: Streaming videos can quickly drain your battery. Make sure all of your portable chargers are at full power to prevent any forced cliffhangers.

Hoard ice; freeze bags and bottles: If your fridge has an ice maker, start filling bags with ice to keep frozen food cooler for extended periods of time in case the power goes out. Frozen bottles of water can be used as an alternative for those without an ice maker.

Keep yourself entertained: Power outages mean no internet, no TV and most importantly, no access to the outside world. Luckily, Netflix users can download their favorite content for offline viewing. Having a physical copy of a book or magazine is also unbeatable during storms when battery life is a premium.

Eat stuff in the fridge: You wouldn’t purposefully throw away a $100 bill right? Well having a fridge full of spoiled food is essentially the same thing. Plan a weekday feast to get rid of as much food as possible in the event that you don’t have power for an extended period of time. Get out your grill and share your food with your neighbors. It’s a great way to meet them. Make sure you have gas in your grill or charcoal.

Store important documents: Important documents should be stored as far away from windows as possible. Nobody wants to get their identity stolen. But if the dresser where you keep important documents gets ripped from your bedroom, that’s a real possibility. You’ve already lost a dresser; don’t lose your identity as well.

Take pictures: Insurance fraud is real. Take pictures of your stuff just in case that dresser does go flying through a window. This will keep insurance companies from thinking you’re trying to profit off the storm.

Drain Pools: José Beaton, owner of JB Pool and Spa, recommends draining pools “at least 2 feet” as well as turning off all lights, pumps and breakers. Those without space inside for lounge chairs should throw the furniture into the pool as well.

Make sure everyone you know has a plan: Check on your loved ones. Everybody should have a plan, regardless of age group. Feel free to share yours with them if they are habitual procrastinators.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.

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