Hi everyone, I’m Bette Hochberger, CPA, CGMA. Living in South Florida comes with the stunning beauty of the ocean and warm weather, but it also means being prepared for the annual hurricane season. As Hurricane Idalia approaches our shores, it’s important to have a solid disaster preparedness plan in place. 

Thankfully, the 2023 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is here to help you stock up on essential supplies without worrying about taxes. So, let’s go ahead and dive into what the sales tax holiday means, the benefits it offers, and provide you with valuable tips on how to best prepare for the upcoming hurricane.

Understanding the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

From August 26 to September 8, 2023, Florida residents have the opportunity to save big on disaster preparedness supplies. During this period, eligible items that help you stay safe and prepared for hurricanes and other disasters will be exempt from sales tax. 

This means that you can purchase items like flashlights, batteries, portable generators, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, and so much more!

Benefits of the Sales Tax Holiday

Cost Savings

The most obvious benefit of the sales tax holiday is the financial relief it provides. Hurricane preparedness supplies can quickly add up, so the exemption from sales tax allows you to make significant savings.

Encourages Preparedness

By making these essential items more affordable, the sales tax holiday encourages individuals and families to take proactive steps in being prepared for emergencies. It’s a reminder that preparedness should never be compromised due to financial constraints.

Community Resilience

When more people are fairly prepared, it contributes to the overall resilience of the community. In times of disaster, well-prepared individuals can reduce the strain on emergency services and resources.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Create a Family Emergency Plan 

Develop a detailed plan that outlines evacuation routes, meeting points, and communication methods for your family members. Make sure everyone knows the plan and practices it.

Stock Up on Supplies

Take advantage of the tax holiday to stock up on essentials like non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, and a first aid kit. Ensure you have enough supplies to last for at least three days.

Secure Your Property

Trim trees and bushes to reduce potential flying debris. Reinforce windows and doors, and bring in outdoor items that could become projectiles in high winds.

Document Important Information

Store important documents, such as identification, insurance policies, and medical records, in a waterproof container. Consider scanning and storing digital copies in a secure cloud service.

Emergency Fund

Have a financial safety net in place to cover potential evacuation expenses, accommodation, and other unexpected costs.

Stay Informed

Keep track of weather updates and official announcements from local authorities. A battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio can be a reliable source of information during power outages.

Medical Needs

If you have specific medical needs, make sure you have an ample supply of medications and any necessary medical equipment ready to go.

As Hurricane Idalia approaches South Florida, taking proactive steps to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones is extremely important. The 2023 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday offers a fantastic opportunity to stock up on essential supplies without the burden of additional taxes. 

By following the provided hurricane preparedness tips, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges that may arise during the storm season. Stay safe, stay prepared, and take advantage of this tax holiday to safeguard your future.