SARASOTA, Fla. -- We are officially in hurricane season, and a recent survey from AAA shows startling numbers when it comes to how Floridians respond.
AAA says three in ten Floridians do not make advanced preparations for hurricane season. But with this week being a tax-free holiday on all hurricane supplies, here’s a look at how you can get ready to weather the storm.
The 9-day tax-free week began over the weekend, making it even easier for residents to get a head start on preparation this hurricane season.
Officials and residents say preparation is key. "I think it's better to be prepared. It's always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it," says Sarasota resident Greg Cherry.
The 2014 hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday runs through June 8th and includes all the essential items you need before, during, and after a storm. "You've got tarps, you've got radios, you've got flashlights, you've got coolers," says Jeffery McConnell at Home Depot.
They’ve even put together a survival kit with all the must haves that you need this hurricane season. Batteries, a floating flashlight, a first aid kit, safety glasses, and a lantern are all included in the survival kit.
Those items, plus generators up to $750 dollars, qualify as tax free.
And there’s no need to worry when it comes to charging your cell phone. “A weather radio that actually you can use; it's got a hand crank that can charge it…you can also charge your cell phone, with the hand crank version of it. So you can always have some kind of power for your cell phone," says McConnell.
Many residents take the opportunity to buy items they can use year round. "We keep it essentially year round, just in event we have some kind of crazy no name storm that pops up," says Parrish resident Philip Thorne.
After the four big hurricanes in 2004, one Florida resident understands all too well the importance of preparation. "We learned our lesson. Went out and bought storm shutters and now we're prepared every year. And we take advantage of the, you know, the Florida tax break," says Wayne Shapiro.
Some of the specific items in the Sales Tax Holiday include:
· A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less
· A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio selling for $50 or less
· A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less
· A self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less
· A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less
· A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less
· A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less
· A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less
· A portable generator that is used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less