Can I return my hurricane supplies?

After loading the back of her vehicle with food Maria Minier loads a recently purchased wood panel to be used in preparation for Hurricane Irma, in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Irma grew into a dangerous Category 5 storm, the most powerful seen in the Atlantic in over a decade, and roared toward islands in the northeast Caribbean Tuesday. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Last week, people crowded local home improvement and grocery stores to prepare for Hurricane Irma. But after the storm shifted west, many people now have unused supplies.

Officials with Horry County Emergency Management say you don’t necessarily need to return the supplies.

“Hurricane season is not over,” warns Horry County Emergency Management spokesperson Brooke Holden. “The majority of items on the supply list, for example, your batteries, your flashlights, you’re able to use those throughout the year.”

The same goes for your hurricane snacks.

“Make sure you check the dates on those foods and expiration dates and things like that, but for the most part they should be nonperishable foods,” says Holden.

Lowe’s Home Improvement posted signs around the store explaining what you can and can’t return.

  • Sandbags and wet or cut wood cannot be returned.
  • Generators and gas cans that have had gas in them can’t be returned.
  • Tarps can be returned if they are dry and in original packaging.

“If you have purchased big ticket items like a generator, just be aware we may need to use those items in the future,” says Holden.

You can also donate any unused items to local charities and food banks and recycle old batteries at any county recycling center.

Officials also warn to keep your important documents in a safe, waterproof space year round, but especially during hurricane season.

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