Florida activates price gouging hotline ahead of potential storm impacts

Floridians in any county under a state of emergency can call 866-966-7226 to report price gouging

FILE - (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File) (Rogelio V. Solis, Copyright {2018} The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

As Florida braces for any potential impacts from Tropical Depression 9, the attorney general’s office is taking steps to protect consumers from price gouging.

Attorney General Ashley Moody activated the state’s price gouging hotline on Friday — 866-966-7226.

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The activation comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 24 of Florida’s 67 counties.

In those counties, Floridians can report any instances of severe price increases on essentials needed for storm preparation.

Florida’s price gouging law only applies to commodities and services essential to preparing for or recovering from a storm within the areas of a declared state of emergency, according to the attorney general’s office.

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Those commodities and services include food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber, equipment and storm-related services needed as a direct result of the event.

Central Florida counties are also offering sandbag locations as Tropical Depression 9 makes its way across the Caribbean Sea. You can find those here.

News 6 offers a free pinpoint weather app to provide you with the latest breaking weather news, weather resources and hurricane updates. For more information, click here.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.