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Florida's first disaster prep sales tax holiday of the year runs through June 14

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Florida residents are getting some tax breaks on items to help them prepare for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which started this week and forecast to be the most active ever.

The Sunshine State’s first of two disaster preparedness sales tax holidays began on June 1, the official start of the annual hurricane season. It runs through Friday, June 14.

Florida’s second emergency preparation sales tax event will be Aug. 24 through Sept. 6, aligning with the time of year when the tropical season tends to increase.

Long history of strong storms: Florida individuals and businesses don’t need a reminder of the damages storms can cause, and the need to prepare.

Data compiled by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center shows that from 1851 through 2023, 79 tropical or subtropical cyclones have affected Florida.

The most active years were 2004 and 2005, with eight storms in each one. (Personal note, two of 2004's less-intense storms that made landfall where we lived are what prompted the hubby and I to become ex-Floridians.)

Recent Major Hurricanes
That Made Landfall in Florida


Saffir-Simpson Category

Landfall Date

Landfall Location



Sept. 10, 2017

Cudjoe Key



Oct. 10, 2018

West of
Mexico Beach



Sept. 28, 2022

Cayo Costa



Aug. 30, 2023

Keaton Beach

Over the years, tropical cyclones in Florida were directly responsible for 145 deaths, and at least 92 indirect ones. Collectively, the storms through 2023 resulted in more than $236 billion in damage, most of it from Hurricane Ian in 2022.

But, as the old hurricane forecaster saying goes, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Kevin Guthrie reiterated, it only takes one.

“I’ve spent the last month traveling around the state to meet with county emergency managers to ensure preparedness and coordination at all levels,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Kevin Guthrie. “Now, I encourage Floridians to finalize their preparedness plans for their homes and businesses, because it only takes one storm to severely impact a community.”

Sales tax-free items: During this June 1-14 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, Floridians can purchase many disaster preparation items can be tax-free. This includes —

  • Water
  • Shelf-stable canned food
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Reusable ice
  • Pet items
  • Toys
  • Portable power banks

Other items that can help during or after a storm clears also are tax-free, including —

  • Portable generators
  • Tarps or other waterproof sheeting
  • Smoke detectors and alarms
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Portable radios less

Furry family members are not forgotten. Florida sales tax is waived during this tax holiday o a variety of pet products, such as leashes, beds, wet and dry food, and over-the-counter pet medications.

The tax-free status of the items is based on their retail prices. The Florida Department of Revenue’s 2024 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday FAQs for Consumers has details, as does the tax department’s one-pager of the tax-free eligible items.

Prepare for all possible disasters: Hurricane season gets the most attention in Florida, thanks to its 1,350 miles of coast along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, not including its barrier islands. Plus, the narrow peninsula means inland areas also are at risk.

But the Sunshine State, like all the rest, also could fall victim to lots of other disasters.

“Disaster can strike at any time. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires are frequent threats to people and property. The beginning of hurricane season is a good time for Floridians to gather supplies they would need to stay safe during and after a disaster,” said Jim Zingale, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Revenue.

My special Storm Warnings page on preparing for natural disasters has suggestions on how to get ready for hurricanes and other types of Mother Nature madness.  It includes my post last August as 2023’s hurricane season was heating up has details on financial and tax preparations, as well as the physical storm steps, including for family members who are older or have special needs, as well as your pets, that you need to take.

Also check out the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s disaster supply kit checklist.



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