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Florida ‘disaster preparedness’ tax holiday begins Saturday and runs through June 14

May 31, 2024

This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting 17 to 25 named tropical storms and 4 to 7 major hurricanes. It’s the highest number of storms in a seasonal forecast by the agency in its history, and emergency management officials across the state are urging Floridians to take steps now to be prepared.

From Saturday June 1 through Saturday June 14, there will be no Florida sales tax on a variety of essential survival products. Items like batteries, flashlights, generators, coolers, along with pet food and supplies will be available tax-free during the tax holiday. A complete list of eligible items is available here.

Florida emergency managers say that reducing loss of life and property depends on effective communication and efficient coordination between first responders and the public. However ultimately decisions like choosing to evacuate, preparing to safely shelter in place or making structural improvements to property depend on individuals. Florida Department of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie has been touring the state this spring ahead of what could be an active hurricane season for Florida. Making sure the public has the best information to make the best decisions is a challenge. Every year more people move to the state, often with no firsthand experience with tropical storms and hurricanes. But, even longtime Florida residents can be left unprepared for a stormIn fact, Guthrie says their memories of weaker storms in the past can lead residents to underestimate the hazards from a threatening storm.

“We’ve found out…we’ve done studies…that people are going to base their decision today on the past.they’re going to look at history. And they are going to say well, I survived this storm or I survived that storm…so we need to make sure we tell them why this storm is different than the one in the past.” Guthrie says communicating details of how storm path, storm speed, storm size have different threats. “And if we do that, and we are effective at it, if we give people a rational idea of what’s going to happen. Then I’m sure they will evacuate those tens of miles and get out of harms way. “

Florida’s disaster preparedness tax holiday continues through June 14, however there is a second disaster preparedness tax holiday that will take place later this summer from Saturday August 24 through Friday September 6.

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Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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A service of WUFT at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications 

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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