Lowe's in Stony Brook is sold out of snowblowers and snow shovels and Home Depot in South Setauket has been out of shovels since early Sunday morning, but ACE Hardware in East Setauket still had a few shovels in stock as of about noon on Sunday, according to staff members at those retail stores.
All three locations still have various forms of ice melt in stock, according to employees who also said they have been busy throughout the day fielding phone calls and questions from harried customers.
One associate at Home Depot, who declined to provide his name, recommended ice melt over rock salt for concrete surfaces because rock salt will erode the concrete, and said calcium chloride pellets are longer-lasting for melting snow and ice but will cost a little more.
Laura Blake, manager at ACE Hardware, recommended shoveling consistently throughout the day rather than letting the snow build up, and said seniors should "take it easy" and let neighborhood kids do the shoveling if they come around knocking on doors.
"You definitely want to put some kind of ice melt down," she said. "In a pinch we also recommend birdseed for traction if you can't get ice melt."
She said folks at home should make sure their vents are clear to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide, and drivers shouldn't leave home without these essentials: an ice scraper, a shovel, a blanket, and a fully-powered phone.
"And of course, don't go out if you don't have to," she said.