The ocean Is heating up, so it’s time to prepare for hurricane season if you haven’t already.
Take advantage of TAX FREE week Saturday, August 26 and extend through Friday, September 8 for hurricane supplies.
We’re right in the middle of hurricane season that started Jun 1, 2023 – Thu, Nov 30, 2023. With the insurance industry on shaky ground, it’s important as a homeowner to be prepared for issues that may arise.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its updated forecast for the season, calling for an above-normal probability of 14 to 21 named storms, with six to 11 of those becoming hurricanes. Of the hurricanes, two to five are expected to be major hurricanes, Category 3 or higher.
The increased forecast activity is due to a number of factors, including warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, weaker wind shear, and an ongoing La Niña event. La Niña is a climate pattern that typically brings cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures to the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures to the Atlantic Ocean. This pattern can create conditions that are favorable for hurricane formation.
The 2023 hurricane season is expected to be active across the entire Atlantic basin, but some areas are at a higher risk than others. The most vulnerable areas include the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeastern United States. These areas are all at risk for direct impacts from hurricanes, including storm surge, high winds, and flooding.
It is important to be prepared for hurricane season, regardless of where you live.
To prepare, it is encouraged for consumers to purchase qualifying disaster preparedness supplies exempt from tax during the 2023 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. The sales tax holiday will begin Saturday, August 26 and extend through Friday, September 8.
- A portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage with a sales price of $3,000 or less.
- A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting with a sales price of $100 or less.
- An item normally sold as, or generally advertised as, a ground anchor system or tie-down kit with a sales price of $100 or less.
- A smoke detector or smoke alarm with a sales price of $70 or less.
- A fire extinguisher with a sales price of $70 or less.
- A carbon monoxide detector with a sales price of $70 or less.
- A nonelectric food storage cooler with a sales price of $60 or less.
- A portable power bank with a sales price of $60 or less.
- A gas or diesel fuel tank with a sales price of $50 or less.
- A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather-band radio with a sales price of $50 or less. A package of AA-cell, AAA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6- volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, with a sales price of $50 or less A portable self-powered light source (powered by battery, solar, hand-crank or gas) with a sales price of $40 or less
- * Eligible light sources and radios qualify for the exemption even if electrical cords are included in the purchase.
- Common household consumable items with a sales price of $30 or less. For purposes of this exemption, common household consumable items means:
- Laundry detergent and supplies
- Powder, liquid, or pod detergent
- Fabric softener
- Dryer sheets
- Stain removers
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Paper napkins and tissues
- Facial tissues
- Hand soap, bar soap, and body wash
- Sunscreen and sunblock
- Dish soap and detergents, including powder, liquid, and pod detergents or rinse agents that can be used in dishwashers
- Cleaning or disinfecting wipes and sprays
- Hand sanitizer
- Trash bags
- Reusable ice (ice packs) with a sales price of $20 or less
- Supplies necessary for the evacuation of household pets. For purposes of this exemption, necessary supplies means the noncommercial purchase of:
- Bags of dry cat or dog food weighing 50 or fewer pounds and with a sales price of $100 or less per bag
- Portable kennels or pet carriers with a sales price of $100 or less per item
- Over-the-counter pet medications with a sales price of $100 or less
- Pet beds with a sales price of $40 or less per item
- Cat litter weighing 25 or fewer pounds and with a sales price of $25 or less per item
- Leashes, collars, and muzzles with a sales price of $20 or less per item
- Pet pads with a sales price of $20 or less per box or package
- Manual can openers with a sales price of $15 or less per item
- Collapsible or travel-sized food or water bowls with a sales price of $15 or less per item
- Cat litter pans with a sales price of $15 or less per item
- Pet waste disposal bags with a sales price of $15 or less per package
- Hamster or rabbit substrate with a sales price of $15 or less per package
- Cans or pouches of wet pet food with a sales price of $10 or less per can or pouch or the equivalent if sold in a box or case
✅While taking this time to prepare, add to your to-do list to look for and address any signs of water intrusion that can help prevent further damage, mold growth, and structural issues in your home. If you notice any significant water intrusion or suspect water damage, it’s advisable to consult with professionals like Bio Pro for proper assessment and remediation.
✅Besides emergency supplies, make sure your insurance is up to date and that you understand your coverage. Once a storm is named, insurance companies will not underwrite policies.
✅Stay informed. Monitor the weather forecast and listen to local news broadcasts for updates on any approaching storms. While there may be days’ notice of potential storm, the availability of supplies may be difficult to obtain. That’s why it’s important to be informed, be prepared, and be safe.
Here are some additional resources from reputable organizations that you may find helpful:
- National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: https://www.fema.gov/
- Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/
- Ready.gov: https://www.ready.gov/