HomeFlorida NewsGovernor DeSantis announces tax-free period for disaster supplies as hurricane season begins

Governor DeSantis announces tax-free period for disaster supplies as hurricane season begins


Tallahassee, Florida – As the 2024 hurricane season begins, Governor Ron DeSantis is urging Floridians to take advantage of a 14-day sales tax holiday for disaster preparation supplies. This initiative aims to help residents prepare for potential hurricanes by offering essential items tax-free. Governor DeSantis also emphasized the importance of having a comprehensive disaster plan in place for families, including a fully stocked disaster readiness kit.

Major Funding for Lee County’s Recovery

In addition to promoting hurricane preparedness, Governor DeSantis announced a $7.5 million grant to Lee County from Florida’s Job Growth Grant Fund. This grant will aid in rebuilding and enhancing the shrimp dock at San Carlos Maritime Park, which was destroyed during Hurricane Ian. The renovated facility will serve dual purposes: as an emergency operations site for launching barges and as a docking and transfer point for shrimp vessels.

“With hurricane season underway, now is the time to get prepared and ensure you have a disaster plan in place,” said Governor DeSantis. “I encourage all Floridians to use the sales tax holiday to stock up on the necessary emergency supplies and assemble a disaster preparedness kit.”

Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

From now until June 14, Floridians can purchase a variety of disaster preparation items tax-free. These items include:

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  • Water and shelf-stable canned food
  • Batteries and flashlights
  • Reusable ice packs
  • Pet items such as leashes, beds, food, and medications
  • Portable power banks
  • Portable generators and tarps
  • Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Portable radios under $50

Kevin Guthrie, Executive Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, praised Governor DeSantis’ leadership, stating, “Thanks to the steadfast leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state has all the resources necessary to support Florida communities in the event a storm does strike this hurricane season.”

Preparedness Efforts and Resources

Governor DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management are encouraging all residents to take several important steps to ensure they are prepared for the hurricane season.

Get Educated and Informed

Residents should familiarize themselves with community disaster plans and warning systems. It is recommended to have a battery-operated or hand-crank weather radio to receive alerts from the National Weather Service in case of power outages or damaged cell towers. Floridians can also register to receive emergency weather alerts at FloridaDisaster.org/AlertFlorida.

Make a Plan

Creating a personalized disaster plan is crucial. This plan should include:

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Inventory Home Possessions

Keeping a written or video record of possessions can help with insurance claims in case of loss or damage.

Reduce Home Hazards

Residents should ensure their homes are as safe as possible by:

  • Repairing defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections
  • Securing large, heavy objects on lower shelves
  • Repairing cracks in ceilings and foundations
  • Trimming trees and plants and securing any items that could become projectiles in high winds
Prepare an Emergency Kit

Every household should have a fully stocked disaster supply kit with at least seven days’ worth of items for each member, including children, pets, and seniors. The tax holiday provides an opportunity to purchase these items tax-free.

Safeguard Important Records and Documents

Keeping copies of important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, passports, wills, deeds, and insurance cards, in a safe deposit box or other waterproof location is crucial.

Know Your Zone, Know Your Home

Residents should visit FloridaDisaster.org/Know to learn if they live in an evacuation zone or a flood-prone area. Knowing the home’s ability to withstand hurricane-force winds and following all evacuation orders issued by local emergency management officials are essential steps.

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Vehicle Preparedness

During hurricane season, vehicles should always have at least half a tank of gas or be halfway charged to ensure readiness for evacuation without worrying about long lines at gas stations or gas shortages.

Evacuation Guidelines

Evacuations do not need to be hundreds of miles away; they can often be just tens of miles inland to a safer location that can withstand hurricane-force winds and avoid storm surges.

Comprehensive Preparedness Guide

For a comprehensive guide to hurricane preparedness, residents can visit FloridaDisaster.org/Guide. Additional preparedness content is available on the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Instagram, X, and Facebook pages.

Governor DeSantis’ proactive measures and the state’s support systems are designed to ensure that Floridians are well-prepared for the 2024 hurricane season. By taking advantage of the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday and following the recommended preparedness steps, residents can protect themselves, their families, and their communities from the potential impacts of hurricanes.

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