Here’s When You Can Stock Up on Hurricane Supplies Tax-Free in 3 States

Here’s when Louisiana, Florida and Virginia have tax-free holidays so you can stock up on hurricane supplies.
A storm rolls into downtown St. Petersburg, Fla. Stocking your hurricane kit early in the season can help you avoid crowds when a storm approaches. Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Can we take a minute to talk about Hurricane Irma?

Last September, it blew through the Caribbean and Florida, leaving a trail of uprooted trees and flooded streets in its wake.

We’re still pretty traumatized by it… especially those of us here in Florida who had a tree fall on their newly purchased home.

Irma also instilled in us the importance of having a disaster preparedness kit, because once there’s a hurricane warning, all of the water and gasoline in the state will pretty much be sold out in 20 minutes.

Stock Up for Your Hurricane Preparedness Kit Early

Hurricane season starts June 1, and preparing is much easier when there’s no storm in sight. This year, some states are giving residents incentives to prepare early by eliminating the sales tax on eligible items.

Remember that important items like bottled water, canned food and first-aid kits are always tax-free. Items not included on any of these lists but still pretty important for hurricane preparedness include plywood, Pop-Tarts and alcohol.

But, assuming you want the essentials first, here’s what you need to know about three upcoming preparedness sales tax holidays.

Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday: May 26-27

During the two-day holiday, purchases of up to $1,500 on hurricane supplies are tax-free. Items purchased at airports, hotels, convenience stores or entertainment complexes are not included.

A complete list of exempt items and limitations can be found on the Louisiana Department of Revenue website.

Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday: June 1-7

During this weeklong holiday, you can purchase some supplies with no sales tax. Approved items include:

  • Flashlights, lanterns and candles
  • Gas containers
  • Batteries
  • Coolers
  • Radios
  • Tarps and tie-down kits
  • Generators

A complete list of items and price limitations can be found on the Florida Department of Revenue website.

Virginia Emergency Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday: Aug. 3-5

Virginia is combining its emergency preparedness holiday with its back-to- school and energy efficiency tax holidays, so you can take advantage of a lot of tax-free shopping.

Portable generators under $1,000, chainsaws under $350, and most other hurricane supplies under $60 are not taxable. A complete list of eligible items is available on the Virginia Department of Taxation website.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder and gives money saving and debt payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.