BEAUMONT, Texas — When the tropics start heating up, Southeast Texans pray for the best but prepare for the worst, getting supplies at the grocery store and the hardware store.
In the middle of hurricane season, all eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico. Residents said they know the dangers after storms like Harvey and Imelda and would rather be safe than sorry as tropical activity ramps up.
Generators and other supplies were flying off the shelves at M&D Supply in Beaumont Friday afternoon.
"I guess with Imelda and Harvey the last couple of years, people are taking them a little more serious," M&D Supply manager John Mooney said.
The store sold at least 15 generators on Friday, he said.
"These are the only other ones, these are all we have," a store associate told customers.
One family shopping for a generator said they'd rather be safe than sorry. Like many others, Imelda came as a surprise and they said they were not as prepared as they could have been.
Shoppers at HEB also said they were surprised by Tropical Storm Imelda.
"It was a surprise in the sense of the damage it did," Dayna Dyrhaug said.
While Tropical Storms Laura and Marco are not forecasted to make landfall for several days, some people have been shopping with the tropics in mind this week.
"I am shopping with a little bit of concern for the storm," she said. "If I don't have what I need, I can always go back before the storms hit."
Many people were stocking up on water. Another family said you can never be too prepared too early.
Mooney said preparing early is helpful to retail employees because it helps them restock items in high demand as quickly as possible for other customers.
"Generators are going, gas cans are going, our water is going," he said.
Some people may have to restock right before the storm hits with how many are currently shopping.
In the middle of a pandemic, other than wearing masks, shopping for storm supplies is business as usual.