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Disaster preparedness sales tax holiday starts this weekend

MIAMI LAKES  - It's time to stock up for hurricanes. This weekend is the annual sales tax holiday for supplies. It will run from May 28, though June 10.

For reference, CBS4 used the Florida Department of Revenue list of eligible items, then we went to the Lowe's in Miami Lakes to take a look at how it's all being organized.

"I remember being a little kid scared very scared in my bathtub with my dog and my family," Javier Peraza said. Peraza is the assistant store manager, and he's no stranger to hurricanes, having lived through Hurricane Andrew as a young child.

It may vary, but this Lowe's will bring out many hurricane supplies to one aisle to make it easier to shop, though some items such as flexible sheeting will be in their usual spot because of size.

And as seasoned South Floridians know, one of the things that tends to go out during a power storm is the electricity, that's why some may consider buying a generator, which is usually a big ticket item.

"Everybody forgets about having gas tanks available for your generator," Peraza said. And yes, a gas can is eligible.

Keep in mind the tax rate in the Miami-Dade County/ Broward County area is 7%.

"Portable radios which are very ve,ry important," Peraza pointed out. The one he showed CBS4 was a handcrank one that will also help to charge mobile devices.

Going down the list from the state, we picked up batteries, a lantern, a radio, a cooler, ice pack, a gas can, tarp and tie downs.

"So tarps are important just in case for a quick fix," Peraza explained.

Our total came out to almost $245 dollars, during the tax free holiday, it would be about $16 less, so closer to $228.

"They take everything so everything will be empty so you want to make sure you're prepping way before hurricane season," Peraza added.

Typically, prep items won't be on sale, but you can do some comparison shopping before you head out the door, and by state law eligible items must not be taxed during this holiday period.

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