Hurricane supply prices skyrocket amid tax break holiday
Hurricane season is approaching for Florida, but the rising cost of goods may deter some residents of Volusia and Flagler counties from stocking up on essentials during the duty-free vacation that ends Sunday.
Mark Madden, owner of Madden’s Ace Hardware stores in Holly Hill, Daytona Beach Shores and South Daytona, said area residents have never been too quick to take advantage of the duty-free holiday week.
“People take advantage of it but they don’t break down doors,” Madden said. “Unfortunately, people in this region tend to wait until the last minute. “
Rising prices for some useful supplies during hurricane season could also be a problem, according to Madden.
“The prices have skyrocketed in general, they’ve gone absolutely crazy,” he said. “It can be a deterrent for those who want to prepare for hurricane season. “
The most wanted items this year, according to Madden, appear to be generators, gas cans, flashlights and batteries.
“We’re open and ready for them if they want to,” Madden said. “They still have a day. “
There is a 60% chance that this hurricane season, which runs through November 30, will be an above-normal season with only a 10% chance of being below normal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric. Administration.
Experts do not anticipate historical levels of storm activity from 2020, which produced 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall. This included 13 hurricanes, six of which produced winds of 111 mph or more.
The most likely outcome this year is that there will be 13-20 named storms with winds of 39 mph or more. Of those, six in 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or more, according to NOAA.
Ormond Beach resident Dan Krier isn’t too concerned about sourcing supplies. His main concern is the price of timber used in the construction of houses.
“What are people going to do to protect their homes from hurricanes with sky-high wood prices? Krier asked.
Some lumber prices have tripled since the start of COVID-19 in March 2020, when sawmills were forced to close for safety reasons, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
And increased demand for lumber during the pandemic for new homes and DIY home projects has caused those prices to skyrocket.
Due to the price increase, building a new single-family home now costs an additional $ 35,872, according to the NAHB.
“In recent months, overall residential building material costs have increased 12% year-over-year, and our surveys suggest that these costs are increasing further,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the NAHB, in a press release.
For William Cameron, a resident of Ormond Beach, the only hurricane preparedness he has done so far is to stock up on water – which like canned goods, first aid kits, prescription and retail drugs. free, baby foods and formulas and feminine hygiene products for tax relief.
“It was 73 cents a gallon at Walmart,” Cameron said. “I paid $ 37.44 for 48 gallons. I still paid $ 2.04 in taxes.
Each year, 4,000 people die in the United States from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning unrelated to fire, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A CDC study conducted in 2004 after four major hurricanes in Florida showed that gasoline generators were responsible for 96% of non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning incidents.
“Dubbed the ‘silent killer’ by first responders, carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the main threats to those who misuse generators,” Florida state manager said this week. American Association of Retirees, Jeff Johnson. “Knowing in advance what to do is the best way to minimize the impacts of any natural disaster. ”
Last week, the Flagler County Emergency Management Team hosted its annual ‘Care Facility Readiness Meeting’ for residential and group home health care facility operators to discuss issues such as than generator safety.
“The main objective of the meeting is to provide information and advice on disaster preparedness, response and responsibilities,” said Jonathan Lord, director of emergency management. “Making sure these facilities are ready goes a long way in ensuring that we are ready as a community. “
Flagler County Fire Rescue also discussed fire safety and an overview of what facilities can expect in terms of medical services during a hurricane.
“This is the perfect opportunity to talk about things like the safety of generators – and making sure they work if they have any,” said Joe King, Acting Fire Chief. “They also need to understand that if an evacuation is required, we don’t have the resources to transport all of their residents and stay operational in an emergency.”
Flagler County has 64 facilities that provide 24-hour care. Each is required to have its own “emergency and evacuation plan” by regulatory agencies that provide oversight.
“Preparation is so important,” Lord said. “Help us to help you. It doesn’t take a long time to start preparing little by little.
Here are some general safety tips for generator operation according to safeelectricity.org:
- Use it outdoors in a well ventilated area. Never run a generator in a house or garage.
- Do not plug a generator into the wall to avoid backfeed. Use heavy-duty extension cords to connect devices to generator outlets.
- Turn on the generator before plugging any appliances into it. Once the generator is running, turn on your appliances and lights one at a time to avoid overloading the appliance. The generators are intended for temporary use; prioritize your needs.
- Generators present electrical hazards, especially when used in wet conditions. Use a generator only when necessary when the weather creates wet or damp conditions. Protect the generator by operating it under an open canopy-like structure on a dry surface where water cannot puddle or drain below. Always make sure your hands are dry before touching the generator.
- Make sure the generator is off and cool before operating it.
- Keep children and pets away from portable generators. Many generator components are hot enough to burn you during operation.
What qualifies for sales tax relief
Here is an overview of the items to which the sales tax exemption applies as well as the maximum spending limits:
- Reusable ice packs, $ 20 or less.
- Any portable, self-powered light source such as candles, flashlights, and lanterns, $ 40 or less.
- Any gasoline or diesel fuel container, including LPG and kerosene containers, $ 50 or less.
- Batteries, including rechargeable, in the following sizes: AA battery, AAA battery, C battery, D battery, 6 volts and 9 volts, $ 50 or less.
- Two-way and weather band radios, including battery-powered, solar, or hand-cranked ones, $ 50 or less.
- Coolers and non-electric coolers for food storage, $ 60 or less.
- Portable power banks, $ 60 or less.
- Bungee cords, ground anchoring systems, ratchet straps, tarps, tie-down kits, Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop sheets and other flexible waterproof tarps, $ 100 or less.
- Portable generators used to provide light or communications or to conserve food in the event of a power failure, $ 1,000 or less.