We all know about “Season” – that time when the island is full of visitors and the weather is better here than anyplace else in the country. We also know about “Season 2” - the time from June through November when checking the NOAA website for tropical disturbances becomes a habit.

It also means that we are officially in Hurricane Season and we need to be prepared. Preparation means several things.

Physical preparation of your property: Preparing your Island property is a must. Do you have protection for all the openings of your house? Do all your storm shutters work? Do you know where your water and gas shut offs are so you can turn them off should you have to leave your property? Do you have a plan to secure all your outside furniture? Is your roof in need of some attention prior to a storm? Now’s the time to figure it out.

Financial preparation: Make sure your insurance is in order and that you know who to call in the event of storm damage. Do you have a plan to have cash on hand should the power go out and prevent ATM access to cash?

Plan preparation: Knowing what your options are in the event you need to evacuate the island brings peace of mind. Put your hurricane kit together so you don’t have to scramble. Have a plan for your pets. They need food and shelter too!

Friday, 5/31 marks the start of the Florida Tax Holiday for storm supplies. This means that eligible items for your hurricane kit are not subject to sales tax from 5/31 through 6/6. Items eligible for the tax break from May 31 through June 6 are:

  • reusable ice that costs $10 or less;

  • self-powered light sources, $20 or less;

  • gas or diesel fuel tanks, $25 or less;

  • nonelectric food storage coolers, $30 or less;

  • packs of AA-cell, AAA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, $30 or less;

  • self-powered radios, two-way radios, or weather-band radios, $50 or less;

  • tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting, $50 or less;

  • tie-down kits, $50 or less;

  • portable generators, $750 or less.

With luck we won’t need this information nor these items. In the event we do, better safe than sorry.