ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida is kicking off its hurricane tax holiday this week as Floridians prepare for the storms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Craig Fugate, the former director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said despite the coronavirus, Floridians need to treat this year's hurricane season the same as years past.
"Everybody's been telling me, 'Oh, it's gonna be horrible. You know, how do you deal with hurricanes and COVID-19?' I'm like, 'Emergency managers don't have that option. They got to figure it out.' And they've been working on this," Fugate said.
Fugate said you still need to have an evacuation plan and build a hurricane kit because the most important thing is being prepared.
Cade Carter, the president of Central Florida Ace Dealers, said your kit this year may include a few new items.
"Maybe have a bottle or two of hand sanitizer, have a little bit in your kit," Carter said.
He said you may also want to get gloves and masks.
"I would encourage everyone to buy what they need for that, but I wouldn't encourage everyone to stock up on that stuff right now," Carter said.
Carter also suggests Floridians take advantage of the state's Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. It starts on Friday, May 29 and runs through Thursday, June 4.
Click here for more information on how you can save money on hurricane supplies, like generators, lanterns and radios.
"It's a lot easier to prepare for a hurricane right now in these times than it will be a week or two or three or four days out of when we're expecting a hurricane to come," Carter said.
Carter said he understands times are tough for some families, but he said you can make a basic kit for cheap and buy essentials like batteries and flashlights. Carter adds it’s important to be ready for anything that comes our way.
“It’s one less thing in a stressful time right now that you don’t have to stress about. You can feel a little bit more comfortable, sleep a little bit better at night knowing you have what you need and you’re ready for it,” Carter said.
Visit ClickOrlando.com/Hurricane for a list of county-by-county resources and other tips to prepare for the season.