Gov. Scott discusses upcoming hurricane-preparedness sales tax holiday

Holiday allows residents to save money on critical hurricane supplies

By Brianna Volz - Web producer
Copyright 2017 CNN

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon ahead of the hurricane-preparedness sales tax holiday as Floridians begin preparing for the 2018 hurricane season.

The holiday begins Friday and is meant to allow residents to be better prepared for the season by saving them millions of dollars on critical supplies, according to a press release from the governor's office.

Scott is visiting Hall Hardware in West Palm Beach Tuesday to highlight the upcoming season, which begins Friday. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, the 2018 hurricane season is shaping up to be "near- or above-normal" -- though not to the degree seen last year, when 17 named storms formed and three major hurricanes struck U.S. soil.

Ten to 16 named storms -- including five to nine hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes with Category 3 strength or higher -- are predicted this Atlantic hurricane season, the federal agency said last week.

What items should Floridians stock up on ahead of the storm season? News 6 weather anchor Danny Treanor broke down what a good kit should consist of.

"The first thing that should go in is a weather radio," Treanor said. "It sounds an alert and gives important information when there is an emergency nearby."

Hurricane kit basics

Many of the essential items are what you would also pack to go camping: a flashlight, a cooler or two, a first aid kit and insect repellent.

Other important items to include are matches and a manual can opener.

"Something like a charcoal grill or a camp stove can make eating canned food a little more enjoyable," Treanor said. "Also be sure to buy charcoal and lighter fluid."

If the power goes out, there are a couple of options: A kerosene lantern or a battery lantern.

To help beat the heat, battery-powered fans can come in handy, but it's important to remember to buy batteries if you plan on using the fans.

If families can afford it, a generator is a bonus item and can be worth its weight in gold if homes are without electricity for a week or two.

"If you do buy a generator, read up on how to operate it safely," Treanor said.

Be sure to have extension cords, and do not operate the generator inside or near windows.

A trip to the grocery store is an essential part of preparing for hurricane season. Stock up on non-perishable items like peanut butter and canned foods.

Don't forget the pets. Make sure to have at least two weeks worth of water and food on hand for both you and your pets.

Pharmacy essentials

If you're going to be shopping, pick up some first aid items, including bandages, ibuprofen and allergy medication if needed. Over-the-counter antibiotic creams are also good to keep on hand. Talk to your doctor about filling any prescriptions you might need well before the storm hits.

The Red Cross recommends people have at least two weeks worth of prescriptions, because even though many grocery stores and pharmacies have backup generators, shipments might not be able to get through during or after the storm.

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