Between 500 and 1,000 National Guard members arrived at Fort Stewart, Ga., Tuesday and Wednesday to help with hurricane preparedness.
The Exchange provided Hunt Brothers Pizza, Starbucks coffee and Subway sandwiches to Guard members. The installation and all Exchange stores closed Wednesday but were expecting to open on Friday with sufficient water and fuel, managers said.
Before Exchange stores closed, a steady stream of customers were getting water and emergency supplies.
Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia was evacuated Tuesday. All Exchange stores shut down by 6 p.m. and remained closed Wednesday.
Heavy rain bands were pounding east coasts of Florida and Georgia, while hurricane warnings were issued from Florida up to the Carolinas.
The Exchange at JB Charleston, S.C., stayed open until 4 p.m. Tuesday. All Exchange stores remained closed on Wednesday, with hopes of opening Friday.
On Facebook, the Exchange urged customers to stay tuned for future updates.
Keola Chan, general manager at JB Charleston, said she and her team followed all checklists to minimize damage if Dorian hits, but her managers and associates are very experienced at these kinds of things.
“Many of them have been through so many hurricanes that this has become a norm,” Chan said. “Everybody is calm, collected and focused during the preparations.
“The associates assisted customers in finding all their hurricane needs and supplies, recommended what needs a generator would help with and reminded customers of their need for batteries, gas cans and water. They helped customers decide on the types of flashlights or lanterns they needed and suggested the portable stoves and butane to help for cooking in case of a power outage.”
At Patrick AFB, Fla., installation leaders were allowing residents back on the base this evening, but Thursday would only include mission-essential personnel. The installation and Exchange were expected to re-open Friday.
Further north at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., only mission-essential personnel will be allowed on the installation, starting Thursday. The Exchange’s main store, food court and Burger King will close Friday, although an Express will remain open.
Check back in your Exchange Post for Hurricane Dorian updates.