Week-long tax holiday starts Friday as area officials stress importance of hurricane preparedness

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Saturday, and you can start stocking up on supplies without paying tax tomorrow.

The Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday runs from Friday until June 6. But there are some stipulations.

There's no tax on reusable ice or ice packs that sell for $10 or less. You can also buy a self-powered light without tax for $20 or less. Most batteries worth $30 or less will not be taxed, as well as coolers or ice chests in that price range.

The following items are tax free if you pay $50 or less for them: Bungee cords, ground anchor systems, radios, ratchet straps, tarps, tie-down kits or waterproof drop cloths.

If you pay $750 or less for a portable generator, it is tax free. Most hardware stores will have a list of all items that are tax-free.

Mayor Lenny Curry and other elected officials spoke about the importance of preparing for hurricanes today in Jacksonville.

"We need you to do your part," Curry says. "You need to have a plan, you need to know your evacuation zone, you need to build an emergency kit. You need to do all that now."

He says after being the mayor as hurricanes hit Jacksonville over the last few years, he knows when it's time to evacuate. Curry says when he's out of office and there's another mayor giving an order to evacuate, he will do so immediately.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott says he thinks of his wife, children and grandchildren when it's time to prepare for hurricane season.

"I want all your families to be safe, too," Scott says. "Preparedness saves lives, so do not take a chance."

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford points out it's also important to make sure you understand your insurance policies and have important papers ready in case you need to evacuate in a hurry.

"A lot of times valuables are destroyed, they're dispersed, you may not be able to find them any longer for your insurance purposes," Rutherford says.

For more on everything you need to know for this year's hurricane season you can watch a panel of experts cover the topic at www.bit.ly/2KdmCfi or go to www.jaxready.com for everything you need in a preparedness kit.

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