JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Beginning Saturday, Florida residents can buy supplies to prepare for hurricanes and other disasters tax-free until June 10.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1, and it’s a good idea to double-check your kits to make sure you’re prepared.
The checklist includes several categories, including food, clothes and even medication.
People often underestimate how much water and food they would need. FEMA recommends having one gallon per person, per day for a minimum of three days. You also want to get enough food for three to five days.
The “holiday” has become a regular tax break for Floridians, similar to a back-to-school tax holiday held around the start of the school year. Some new items included in this year’s tax-free list are pet supplies, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon-monoxide detectors that cost $70 or less.
The eligible pet supplies include pet carriers that cost $100 or less; pet beds that cost $40 or less; bags of pet food that cost $30 or less; bags of cat litter that cost $25 or less; leashes, collars and muzzles that sell for $20 or less; packages of pet-waste disposable bags that cost $15 or less; and cans of pet food that cost $2 or less.
The pet supplies change came at the request of Girl Scout Troop 60601 in Palm Harbor.
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Also, people can avoid paying sales taxes on generators that cost $1,000 or less.
Other discounted items this year include tarpaulins, waterproof sheeting and tie-down kits that sell for $100 or less; coolers and portable power banks that sell for $60 or less; portable lights that cost $40 or less; reusable ice packs that cost $20 or less; and gas tanks, portable radios, two-way radios, weather-band radios and packs of AA-cell, AAA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries that cost $50 or less.
If you’re not exactly sure where to start—here are the top must-haves for hurricane season:
- Water: 1 gallon per person per day for 2 weeks
- Food storage: At least enough for 3 to 7 days
- Waterproof containers: For storing important documents
- Light and communication: Battery-operated radio, flashlight, clock or wind-up clock
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.