Owner of the survival essentials store, Mike Crea, says he will remain open Friday and Saturday, and will be open Sunday if conditions allow.
There’s a storefront in Sarasota that boasts the words “survive” and “hurricane” all year round, but its products are more relevant to residents now than ever before.
Survive Anything is a survival and camping needs store at 2153 Siesta Dr. that has seen a large influx of customers since Floridians started preparing for Hurricane Irma. Owner Mike Crea said he’s changed his store hours accordingly.
The store is normally open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day but Sunday. Now that Hurricane Irma is approaching Florida, and locals are preparing their homes, he’s decided to remain open until 10 p.m., when his adjoining tattoo and piercings shop closes.
Crea said he will also remain open throughout the weekend — weather permitting.
“If it’s not raining, and we’re not getting destroyed on Sunday, I’ll be here — just playing it by ear,” he said. “I won't be here if I can’t drive my car safely.”
Crea said starting Wednesday, he’s had a massive increase in people walking through his door — so much so that he’s had to overnight new shipments of his most popular items, meals ready to eat (MRE) and flashlights.
“It’s ridiculous,” Crea said. “It’s been non-stop slammed.”
Besides food and light sources, one of the most popular items is radios, much to Crea’s surprise. He said it’s probably because people are so reliant on their phones that they’re realizing if power goes out, they might not have a source to charge their phone and stay updated on the hurricane’s whereabouts.
Crea said he is glad people are taking the storm seriously and preparing, but he didn’t expect such a surge in business. He’s run out of food items several times but continues to restock, and he’s expecting his next shipment Saturday, before the storm hits. No shipments will be delivered on Sunday.
His store’s windows have been boarded, and Crea said he will have several of his employees staying at his sandbag-lined home to ride the storm out.
Crea’s main advice is to ensure devices are charged and to stock up on food and water. Looking forward, he hopes people will take more storms this seriously — and stock up earlier.
“Tell them to prepare better for next time,” he said.