So now what do you do with all your extra hurricane supplies?

With Hurricane Dorian seemingly passing us by, maybe you’re thinking you over did it with emergency supplies.

As soon as Dorian threatened Southwest Florida store shelves emptied out, and some people may have bought more than they needed.

“I was very stressed out seeing that everyone was rushing around, making me feel like, ‘do I need to spend more than I need right now, I need to buy a ton of water or gas?'” Naples mom Charity Vollmar said.

She says she bought one case of water and didn’t fill up her gas tank, considering she didn’t plan to evacuate.

If you’re wondering what to do with your extras, Vollmar has some ideas.

Want your money back? You can try to make returns, but you might want to consider what happens to it.

We called some of the biggest stores in our area and found out a lot of them will take your returns. Some stores might inspect items and restock them.

But most stores put them right in the garbage.

So Vollmar’s advice to everyone who went overboard: donate.

“If you have more than you need then definitely donate it because if you’re going to return it, they can’t use it,” Vollmar said. “It’s wasteful. So they should donate to those who need it. Bahamas would definitely need it right now. Our local shelters even need it.”

Mary Wozniak from the Harry Chapin Food Bank says it’s a huge help.

“We’re so lucky that we didn’t get hit directly, but we are welcoming any leftover hurricane supplies that people have stockpiled,” Wozniak said.

She asks that you bring only non-perishable, unopened food items.

And if you can’t return it or donate it, you might want to keep it. After all, hurricane season isn’t over yet.

RETURN POLICIES

Home Depot

In an email, a Home Depot representative said: “Our return policy is the same for hurricane-related items as it is for other purchases. Unused items may be returned with a receipt within 30 days.”

WALMART

From the website: “90 days for return if the item is non-perishable. Perishable items cannot be returned by mail or to a Walmart store. Non-perishable items are returnable. Whether they put it back on the shelves or throw it away varies by store. Contact customer care.

WINK News called Walmart customer service and they said it varies by store whether items are put back on shelves or thrown away.

TARGET

From the website: “Most unopened items sold by Target in new condition and returned within 90 days will receive a refund or exchange. Some items sold by Target have a modified return policy noted on the receipt, packing slip, Target policy board (refund exceptions), Target.com or in the item department. Items that are opened or damaged or do not have a receipt may be denied a refund or exchange.”

WINK News called a local Target store and they said customers can return any food item, but perishable items are thrown away and non-perishables go to a “donate pile.” Food items are not put back on shelves.

PUBLIX

From the website: “The philosophy of pleasing our customers was established from the beginning by our founder, George W. Jenkins. The purpose of our guarantee remains to satisfy the customer: “We will never knowingly disappoint you. If for any reason your purchase does not give you complete satisfaction, the full purchase price will be cheerfully refunded immediately upon request.

In an email, a Publix representative said: “Hurricane season is still active through November. In the spirit of remaining prepared, it’s always a good idea to have a supply of shelf-stable items on-hand. However, if a customer chooses to return perishable items they’ve purchased, a refund would be issued, but we must discard the items because we cannot ensure that that the cold-chain has been maintained. We cannot risk potential time and temperature abuse.

WINK News called Publix customer service and they said all returns are the discretion of the store manager. Items can be returned back to shelves if they are non-perishable, uncompromised, and inspected beforehand. Perishable products are thrown out.

ALDI

From the website: “At ALDI, we’re so confident in our ALDI-exclusive food items that we’ve backed them with our unbeatable Twice as Nice Guarantee. Learn more here. For items not covered by the Twice as Nice Guarantee (non-food ALDI Find items, alcohol*, national brands or non-quality related issues), a replacement or refund** will be offered. In addition, some of our ALDI-exclusive brands and national brand offerings are covered by a manufacturers’ limited warranty. Please consult the instruction manual or warranty card that came with the product to determine how to make a warranty claim.

COSTCO

From the website: “With few exceptions, Costco has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Simply bring the product to any Costco warehouse and our Member Services Team will be happy to assist you. It helps if you have the receipt or original product packaging, but it may not be necessary to process your return.

“Please keep in mind that, in order to continue delivering the low prices you expect from Costco, some items do need to be returned within 90 days. View Costco’s Return Policy.

WHERE TO DONATE

Harry Chapin Food Bank

Fort Myers Distribution Center
3760 Fowler St.
Fort Myers, 33901

Collier County Center
3940 Prospect Ave. #101
Naples, 34104

Phone: (239)334-7007
Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

HCFB asks that you bring only non-perishable, unopened food items.

For more information visit: harrychapinfoodbank.org

Reporter:Sara Girard
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