Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday

Hurricane season begins on Tuesday, June 1, and state officials want to make sure you're prepared.

Friday is the start of Florida's Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. Shoppers will have until June 6 to save money on certain hurricane items. 

"Every dollar counts," Chris Bassil of Winter Park said.

Shoppers can pick up qualifying disaster items at retailers throughout Central Florida.

Items that will be tax-free include: 

  • Portable generators - $1,000 or less
  • Tarps, bungee cords, ratchet straps, tie down kits and plastic sheeting - $100 or less
  • Coolers and power banks - $60 or less
  • Batteries - $50 dollars or less
  • Candles, flashlights and lanterns - $40 dollars or less

You can find a complete list of items HERE. 

"When it’s time to leave your house, or something happens, (like) a tree falls down on it, you have to be prepared to make a change and get out of there," Brian Stroo of College Park said.

Home Depot employees are preparing for the rush of shoppers.

"We’re always expecting a busy year every year," employee Curtis Smith said. "It’s better to be safe than sorry and it's better to be prepared than ill-prepared waiting for the last minute."

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"We’re trying to make sure the sales tax benefit gives you motivation to get out and get those resources now," Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said. "Go out and get the radios, the batteries, the generators, the supplies now. As opposed to when the emergency comes."

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the new ‘Freedom Week.' It’s a first of its kind sales tax holiday the week of July 4.

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Floridians will not have to pay sales tax on tickets purchased to events scheduled between July 1 and the end of the year, including concerts, sporting events, and fairs. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA forecasters said that there is a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season. 

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In 2021, NOAA said that they expect 13 to 20 named storms, which can pack winds 39 mph or higher. Six to ten of those could become hurricanes, with winds increasing to 74 mph or higher. Of those, three to five could be major hurricanes, reaching winds of 111 mph or higher (Category 3 storms and up).