By Tom Crawfordtcrawford@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- If a hurricane threatens the Charleston area, you need to be prepared. History has shown that the Lowcountry could be without electricity and phone service for an extended period of time.
A hurricane survival kit is a must for Lowcountry residents.
You may need to pick up some supplies well in advance from a place like your local hardware or do-it-yourself store.
Many people wait until the last minute to pick up the supplies they need to stay safe in a tropical storm, but Larry Zobel, a commercial sales specialist at Lowe's, has some good advice.
"You don't want to wait until the last minute or the day before a hurricane hits, because those supplies will run out quick," he says.
Having a well-maintained and stocked supply kit is a must. You may not need everything that is offered at the big stores, but there are some essentials that you really need to have, including a couple of flashlights and some batteries, and enough water supply to last you as many as five days for the entire family.
You may also want to check out the American Red Cross radio.
Propane for your gas grill is a must as well, no matter how large your gas grill is. Several tanks would be even better. A couple of extra gallons of fuel can come in handy in a prolonged power outage.
You want to make sure you have a full tank of gas for your car because you may be in lines during the evacuation for an extended period of time. Or you may be without electricity where your credit card doesn't work.
Cuts and scratches happen often, especially when working and playing outside. When there is plenty of debris around, it happens more often. A good first aid kit is a must as well.
Don't forget about your washcloth, towels and soap. All of your toiletry items that you would use on a day-to-day basis like toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, as well as hand sanitizer are must-haves. Don't forget your bug spray.
You also want to have cash in hand. With credit cards you need electricity, with cash you don't.