Florida’s disaster preparedness sales tax holiday kicks off, hurricane season approaches

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Get ready to cash in on some savings for those hurricane supplies.

A two-week sales tax holiday kicked off Saturday for Floridians: a tax break announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

RELATED: 2022 disaster preparedness sales tax holiday begins today in Florida

This comes as the 2022 hurricane season is just days away

Jacksonville resident John Follmer has lived in Florida for 24 years, so he’s no rookie when it comes to gearing up.

“About the only thing I have left to do is have fresh batteries, but I rotate water and have a disaster relief kit ready in the garage,” Follmer said.

Florida’s disaster preparedness sales tax holiday kicked off Saturday and runs until Friday, June 10. Pet supplies were added to this year’s list.

CLICK HERE to view the official list of eligible tax-free items.

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Floridians are expected to save $25.6 million. That’s more than double compared to the $10.5 million saved during the holiday last year.

“We knew that was coming and wanted to get that list put together and buy during the tax holiday, so that’s our plan,” Jacksonville resident Ron Kirsch said. “We have not executed the plan yet but we will.”

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Leaders say there’s something else you should add to your checklist if you’re able: blood donation.

James Skahn works in community outreach with LifeSouth, a local blood center.

He said LifeSouth provides for 70% of the hospitals in the area.

“There is constantly a critical need for blood,” Skahn said. “It’s really a major issue for Jacksonville specifically.”

He explained why this type of giving is critical and something that people should think about before a disaster strikes.

“Every two seconds someone needs blood,” Skahn said. “So, it’s constant. Right now in particular, if something bad happens, we need that blood at that moment, not a week down the line when you want to show support for it.”

That’s why Skahn says adding blood donation to your hurricane preparedness checklist, if you’re able, has a greater impact than you may think.

“They’re doing a good deed for their whole community, not just themselves,” Skahn said.

CLICK HERE to donate in Jacksonville.

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Floridians can use the disaster preparedness sales tax holiday as an opportunity to stock up their disaster supply kits with enough supplies to last every individual and pet in the household for at least seven days.

“I think people need to take it seriously,” Follmer said. “It’s something we can’t control, and if it does happen we need to be prepared for our families and loved ones.”

Hurricane season begins June 1.

“Pay attention to what the people tell you to do,” Kirsch said. “Don’t try to be a hero and stay someplace where you don’t belong.”