Houston stores brace for shoppers ahead of tropical weather

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As states along the Gulf coast brace for two tropical storms, stores in the Houston metro area are stocked as customers make plans ahead of next week.

Stores like H-E-B and Kroger are ramping up deliveries for essential items shoppers may need during storms.

"So, certainly we prepare for hurricanes every year. We've been preparing since last year during hurricane season, and we're prepared all the way up through November 30," said Joe Kelley, president of Kroger-Houston.

"H-E-B has a disaster relief emergency preparedness team that works at the company 365 days a year, so we have an entire team dedicated to this," said Lisa Helfman, director of public affairs for H-E-B. "We have extra stock in several of our warehouses for hurricane situations and we do this emergency command center as soon as we hear about a storm coming, so we're prepared."

They also urge customers to only take what they need and avoid shopping at the last minute.

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Both H-E-B and Kroger representatives also say stores will adjust store hours if needed.

"I think let's be thoughtful, like we said during the pandemic, we don't encourage panic buying, take what you need and then leave the rest for your neighbor," Helfman said. "We say that you need to prepare for three days, have product on hand for about three days, and that includes shelf-stable products in case we lose electricity."

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