As of yesterday, the 2014 hurricane season is officially underway.
During the next six months, if one were to make landfall in Bay County, would you be prepared?
In order to urge citizens to go ahead and prepare for the worst, Governor Rick Scott has declared a statewide tax holiday.
"It's being responsible," says Home Depot Department Supervisor Wesley Hewitt, "The state is being responsible. It's making people aware of the fact that, yes, we haven't had any major storms for a very long time. But you should start thinking about it, prepare for it. That's why, I believe that they've stepped in and said every year we get a tax break to do it."
The tax holiday will end at 11:59 p-m on Sunday, June 8th.
Governor Rick Scott says that it will help Florida families keep more than $20 million.
Tax exempt items include:
A portable self-powered light source (flashlight) costing $20 or less.
A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio that retails for $50 or less.
A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less.
A portable generator that is used to provide light or communications, or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less.
A self-contained first-aid kit costing $30 or less.
A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less.
A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting that retails for $50 or less.
A gas or diesel fuel tank costing $25 or less.
A non-electric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less.
Reusable ice that retails for $10 or less.
Some stores are selling hurricane kits at discounted prices that include many essential items to use in the event of severe weather.
Executive director of the Red Cross Bob Pearce says that it doesn't matter that Bay County hasn't experienced a severe hurricane threat in almost a decade.
"There are people along the eastern seaboard after Hurricane Sandy that never thought they would see damage from a hurricane that far off the eastern seaboard, and they did. So it only takes one. And if that one is going to come to you, you'd better be prepared."