If you live in the south and east, you may already be battening down for approaching Tropical Storm Dorian following an appeal by Prime Minister Mia Mottley and other officials for residents to be prepared.
Long queues and crowded aisles were found at Emerald City Supermarket in Six Roads and Popular Discounts at Kendal Hill on Sunday after an announcement that stores would remain open until 9 p.m. in order to allow shoppers to get necessities for the system which is expected to begin affecting the island Monday evening.
Shoppers told Barbados TODAY they were taking no chances and were topping up on items needed.
Lisa, a shopper at Emerald City, said: “Because we had the advantage of seeing what happened in the other Caribbean countries when they were devastated by hurricanes and storms and you just don’t want to be caught in that position.
“So I just came to make sure that I have the essentials and hope God will spare us.
“Ï usually have things in preparation for the season but you know because you would use them, so you I just came and restock in the event that something really happens.”
Batteries, lanterns, canned meats and dried foods dominated sales.
Two popular faces were spotted at the supermarket – calypso and soca artistes Adrian AC Clarke and Anderson Blood Armstrong.
They admitted that they had most of the necessities at home but were getting some additional things and urged Barbadians to heed all warnings.
“Take the messages serious, you never know when. Remember Tomas?” AC said while Blood said: “My advice to anybody and to everybody is to always take all of these warnings seriously, you don’t know what to anticipate, what will happen, so be prepared and right now we are going to try to get prepared.”
Police Constable Roy Thompson was also among those caught in Sunday’s supermarket hustle.
He told Barbados TODAY: “Basically getting some bottle water, biscuits, tunas…. We have most of the necessities at home already…. Just going to catch some water just in case the water goes off.”
Based on the forecast, PC Thompson was mainly concerned about those residents on the low-lying west coast and in the northern part of the island. He said when he reports for duty later today he would be “checking in on elderly people, people I know that are in need, and those that need to go to shelters… so its just wait and see”.
Shopper Simone Cummings said she was not taking any chances as she packed her car.
She said: “I don’t take this thing into account that just because we are in a unique position outside the island chain that basically we are always going to be spared or this nonsensical thing that God is a Bajan, no, I take every storm extremely seriously.
“Yes, it misses us about 90 per cent of the time but there is always that ten per cent where you are going to be literally sucker-punched.”
“Everywhere burst, Emerald City burst, gas station burst,” said another resident of the pre-storm crush.
But she said she was satisfied with how the Prime Minister was handling the sharing of information so far.
“What she did was good, it shows that she is concerned, they are taking things serious and as such we are taking it serious,” the St Philip woman said as she hustled off into the supermarket.
Lisa said: “I was so impressed with my Prime Minister and that she actually came to the public and she spoke to us … and let us know what is happening and kept everybody informed and I like the fact that she had one of her Cabinet Ministers pray for the nation, I was really impressed by that.”
An elderly resident also gave the premier the thumbs up.
She said: “All the young people into that smart device thing but I can’t really keep up apart from answering the phone. So while others maybe up to date with what is going on social media, I am happy that she spoke before this thing hit and told us what is going on.”
David Harris, the manager at Emerald City Supermarket, told Barbados TODAY: “Batteries are one of the main items, water, canned stuff, biscuits definitely, those are the items that people are picking and well as soft drinks. Things that people can store, you find these are the things that people are taking.”
Over at Popular Discounts’ largest location which normally shut its doors at 3 p.m. on Sundays, it was pretty much the same for Chief Operating Officer McArthur Barrow.
“Sunday is usually quite busy but obviously this would be an extremely busy Sunday. People are picking up stuff that you would normally expect when they are preparing for bad weather,” he stated.
The lines at gas stations were equally long but moving at the RUBIS at Kirtons and Sol, Six Roads, St Philip.