The state of Florida is providing some financial relief for families with not just one, but TWO Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays in 2023: May 27-June 9, 2023 and August 26-September 8, 2023. The two holidays combined are expected to save Florida families $144 million.
The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1-November 30, 2023 and if we learned anything from last season, it’s that preparedness is key and storm surge is a deadly possibility.
The sales tax holiday will provide you with sales tax breaks on qualifying items like flashlights and lanterns (selling for $40 or less), batteries (selling for $50 or less), and portable generators (selling for $3,000 or less).
You’ll also get sales tax exemptions on the first $70 of smoke detectors and alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Some items needed for household pets like will also be exempt, like leashes and collars that are $20 or less and pet beds that are $40 or less.
This is a great time to get your kit together and come up with a family plan on how you’ll respond in the event of a hurricane or other disaster. We’ve all seen the news clips of empty store shelves in areas that find themselves in the path of a storm. Don’t wait for the last minute scramble.
“Every family should have an emergency plan and a disaster supply kit, and understand how they will receive alerts, how they will communicate, and where they will go if they have to evacuate,” Alberto Moscoso, Communications Director for the Florida Division of Emergency Management told us.
We asked him to share some tips to help you prepare your family for hurricane season:
- With your family, create an emergency plan that includes information about how you will receive emergency alerts and information, and how your family will communicate if there is an emergency.
- Make sure you are properly insured. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, and flood insurance can take as long as 30 days to go into effect. Get the coverage you need BEFORE a disaster occurs.
- Know if you live in an evacuation zone, and where you will go if an evacuation is ordered for your area. Talk with friends and family now to plan to stay with them in the event of an evacuation order. Ensure there is room to socially distance if you must.
- Think about items you will need to take with you including important documents. Take photos to document your valuable items and things that may need to be replaced by insurance if a storm impacts your home.
- Utilize the planning tool at www.FloridaDisaster.org/family to create your personalized family plan.
- Create a disaster supply kit and review and update regularly. Basic supply kit items include:
- Non-perishable food
- Bottled water (one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit
- Lanterns and/or flashlights
- Extra batteries (including external batteries to charge your mobile phone!)
- NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio to receive emergency alerts
- A safe place for baby to sleep like a Pack and Play crib
- You’ll also want to add personal cleaning items like hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes
Each family’s supply kit may be a bit different. Think about your family and what items they may need if the power goes out – additional prescription medications, baby food or formula, food for a specific diet, or even a favorite game or toy to pass the time.
Learn more: www.floridadisaster.org