Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. DeSantis: With Hurricane Season Underway, Now Is The Time To Get Prepared

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor DeSantis (File)

With the start of the 2024 hurricane season, Governor Ron DeSantis urged residents Tuesday to take advantage of the 14-day sales tax holiday for disaster preparation supplies.

Governor DeSantis also encouraged Floridians to have a plan in place for their families if disaster strikes their area and to put together a disaster readiness kit at home.  

Governor DeSantis also announced a $7.5 million award to Lee County through Florida’s Job Growth Grant Fund to help rebuild and enhance the shrimp dock, which was destroyed during Hurricane Ian, at San Carlos Maritime Park. This dual-purpose facility will serve as an emergency operations site to launch barges, provide a place for shrimp vessels to dock, and transfer product to distribution trucks. 

Read: 1-In-4 Floridians Would Ignore Hurricane Evacuation Warnings: AAA Survey

“With hurricane season underway, now is the time to get prepared and ensure you have a disaster plan in place,” said Governor Ron 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.” 

“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,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Kevin Guthrie. “I’ve spent the last month traveling around the state to meet with county emergency managers to ensure preparedness and coordination at all levels. Now, I encourage Floridians to finalize their preparedness plans for their homes and businesses because it only takes one storm to severely impact a community.” 

Read: Florida Is In For A Whopper Of A Hurricane Season

Right now, through June 14, the first of two Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays is happening, which means many disaster preparation items can be purchased tax-free, including:

  • Water
  • Shelf-stable canned food
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Reusable ice
  • Pet items
  • Toys
  • Portable power banks and more

Other important items that are tax-free include:

  • Portable generators
  • Tarps or other waterproof sheeting
  • Smoke detectors and alarms
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Portable radios less than $50

And since pets are part of the family, too, several items such as pet leashes, beds, wet and dry food, and over-the-counter pet medications can also be purchased tax-free through June 14. For a full disaster supply kit checklist, visit FloridaDisaster.org/Kit

Preparedness efforts and resources include:

Get Educated, Get Informed

  • Learn about community disaster plans and community warning systems. Every household is encouraged to have a battery-operated or hand-crank weather radio to ensure they can continue to receive alerts from the National Weather Service in the event of power outages or damaged cell towers.
  • Register to receive life-saving emergency weather alerts at FloridaDisaster.org/AlertFlorida.

Read: Preparing For An Unprecedented 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season: NOAA’s Forecast

Make a Plan

  • Make a list of personal household needs and resources for meeting them in a disaster environment.
  • Include all members of the family, including children, in the disaster preparedness planning process, so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Pets are part of the family, too – identify a safe place to take pets if you cannot bring them with you during an evacuation. Never leave household pets behind during a hurricane or tropical storm.
  • Make a family plan at FloridaDisaster.org/PlanPrepare, and make a business plan at Business.FloridaDisaster.org.

Inventory Home Possessions

  • Make a record of your possessions – in writing or video – to help claim reimbursement in case of loss or damage.

Reduce Home Hazards

  • Have defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections repaired.
  • Place large, heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Have cracks in ceilings and foundations repaired.
  • Make landscaping hurricane-resistant by trimming trees and plants down and putting any items inside that may turn into dangerous projectiles in high winds.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

  • Every household should have a fully stocked disaster supply kit with at least seven days of items for each household member, including consideration of children, pets and seniors. 
  • Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday began June 1, and provides residents with the opportunity to purchase supplies tax-free during one of two 14-day Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays.
  • For a full disaster supply kit checklist, visit FloridaDisaster.org/Kit.

Safeguard Important Records and Documents

  • Keep copies of important family records and other documents (birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, passports, wills, deeds, insurance cards, etc.) in a safe deposit box or other waterproof location.

Know Your Zone, Know Your Home

  • Visit FloridaDisaster.org/Know to learn if you live in an evacuation zone or low-lying flood-prone area.
  • Know your home’s ability to withstand hurricane-force winds.
  • Follow all evacuation orders issued by local county emergency management officials.

If You’re Halfway Full, You’re Halfway There

  • During hurricane season, vehicles should always have at least half a tank of gas or be halfway charged to ensure they have enough fuel to evacuate as soon as possible without worrying about long lines at gas stations and to avoid gas shortages prior to a storm.

Evacuate Tens of Miles, Not Hundreds of Miles

  • Evacuations do not have to be hundreds of miles away – they can typically be tens of miles inland to a location that can withstand hurricane-force winds and remain out of reach from life-threatening storm surge.

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