The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends November 30, 2020 and if we’ve learned anything from COVID-19 lockdowns …preparedness is key. And, remember Hurricane Irma and the lessons that storm taught us? Yeah…
Related: Local TV Meteorologists/Dads weigh in on the importance of a fully stocked hurricane kit
The state of Florida is providing some financial relief for families putting together their kits with the 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
The sales tax holiday will provide you with sales tax breaks on qualifying items like flashlights and lanterns (selling for $20 or less), batteries (selling for $30 or less) and generators (selling for $750 or less).
Read the complete list here from the Florida Department of Revenue to find out what qualifies.
“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
- You’ll also want to add pandemic related items: hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, cloth masks.
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, food for a specific diet, or even a favorite game or toy to pass the time.
Learn more: www.floridadisaster.org
More important links to prepare, find out if you live in a flood zone and locate evacuation routes and shelters:
Hillsborough County Emergency Management: Stay Safe
Pinellas County Emergency Management
Pasco County Emergency Management
Polk County Emergency Management