Tax-free holiday May 31 – June 6 on storm supplies

May 24, 2019
By Marcy Shortuse

■ STAFF REPORT
With a sales-tax-free holiday May 31-June 6 on hurricane supplies, Floridians should plan to stock up on the things they find most valuable when a storm hits. Portable generators, gas cans and other hurricane-preparedness items are qualified for tax-free purchases, and here are a few tips from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute to help consumers.
When the lights go out, generators keep your home humming with light and power. When purchasing a generator, consider the types of items you need to power. Determine how many kilowatts are needed for essential items (charging family cell phones, a refrigerator, etc.) during an emergency.
Research generators online before you buy. Talk with the staff at the store or go online. Discuss safety features and ask about manufacturer fueling and care instructions.
Know what features you want. Circuit-breaker-protected outlets will guard against generator overload. A larger fuel tank will provide extra running time. Integrated fuel gauges will help keep tabs on fuel levels and prevent power interruptions. Low-tone mufflers make for quieter operation. Fold-down handles and wheels can make it easier to move your generator.
If you are planning to use a generator, a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home is smart. Now is a great time to pick one up, and batteries are available tax-free during the sales-tax holiday.
Identify the generator’s placement. Give portable generators plenty of room for ventilation. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
Keep generators dry. Before a storm hits, identify how to cover and vent the generator. Buy model-specific tents or generator covers online, or at a home center or hardware store.
Buy the right extension cords. Be sure you have on hand heavy-duty extension cords suitable for outdoor weather that will easily reach your generator.
Have the right fuel on hand in an appropriate container before any storm hits. Select containers that seal well. Store fuel in a safe place, away from heat sources and out of the reach of children. Label the can with the date of purchase and the ethanol content. Check filled cans regularly, and replenish them if needed. Fuel that is more than 30 days old should not be used in any outdoor power equipment.  Use the type of fuel recommended by the generator manufacturer. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol in outdoor power equipment. (For more information on proper fueling for outdoor power equipment, visit LookBeforeYouPump.com.)