Hurricane Season Begins, Prepare and Take Advantage of Tax-Free Options

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June 1 marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. It’s time to get prepared by stocking up on disaster supplies and taking advantage of tax-free “holidays” to save some money on the stuff you’ll need.

June 1: Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

Tuesday, June 1 is the official start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November 30. Once again, as has happened the past few years, hurricane season kicked off early. The first named subtropical storm of the year, Anna, formed on May 22. The storm took shape east of Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean, according to AccuWeather.

Forecasters have predicted another above-average season, although not as active as last year’s record-setting season. Forecasters are expecting 19 named storms in 2021, which includes 8 hurricanes, four of which they expect to be major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher (115-plus-mph winds).

Tax-Free Hurricane Supplies in Florida

This week, through June 6, Florida residents can get disaster preparedness supplies tax-free. The 2021 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday gives residents the opportunity to stock up on hurricane supplies tax-free. Check with the Florida Revenue department for the full list of tax-free disaster preparedness items.

Getting Prepared for a Hurricane or Severe Weather

You can’t be over-prepared, especially after what we saw last year and knowing that an above-average season has been forecast.

Since that the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 until November 30, you want to make sure you have enough supplies to get you through the next nine months. Given that we’ve seen a lot of retail shortages over the past year, it’s even more important to get prepared early

Anyone living and states that border the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic should be prepared for hurricanes and severe weather. Even if you live quite far inland, tropical systems can stall over land and drop heavy rains for days, causing flooding.

Make sure you have supplies and lifesaving emergency items

To repeat – supplies are already short – so don’t be unprepared. It becomes even more urgent that you prepare an emergency plan should a hurricane or severe weather cause power failures, impact transportation or access to food and water.

At a bare minimum, you should have a 3-day supply of food and water for each family member and pet. The same goes for medicines. That’s a minimum, it’s better to have more.

It’s imperative to have a weather radio, preferably one that runs on batteries and can be powered with a hand-crank. Even if the power goes out, a weather radio will provide you vital updates.

Also make sure to have a flashlight, backup batteries, and backup battery chargers for your cell phone.

National Hurricane Center preparedness guide

The best source of information you can research online can be found at the NHC/NOAA preparedness website. Visit the hurricane preparedness page of the National Hurricane Center and get information on everything you need to know to be ready.