JACKSONVILLE, Fla. As many as 23 named storms are expected to course across the Atlantic this hurricane season, including between eight and 14 that are predicted to become hurricanes. To help prepare residents for what is being termed “an extremely active” hurricane season, Winn-Dixie is equipping 109 of its stores with 500-kilowatt, diesel-powered generators so that the stores can operate during a power outage. The stores are in areas that have been affected by power outages associated with hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years.
Winn-Dixie also has equipped its regional distribution centers in Miami, Orlando, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla., and Hammond, La., with generators so that stores can be quickly restocked after any storms.
"The installation of these powerful generators allows us to be better prepared and serve our customers in the event of a storm," stated Robin Miller, Winn-Dixie's director of media and public relations. "They enable our stores to remain open in the aftermath of a hurricane or tropical storm, even if local power has not been restored."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a 70% probability of 14 to 23 named storms with eight to 14 developing into hurricanes (winds of 74 miles per hour or higher) and up to seven intensifying to major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher with winds of at least 111 mph).
"Now is the time to prepare for this year's hurricane season," Miller said. "Our neighborhood stores are stocked with the key items to help our customers get ready."
Miller noted that the American Red Cross and emergency management officials urge people to have a "hurricane kit" with enough medicine, 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 one gallon of water per person per day, along with food and first aid supplies.