Updated: Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012, 2:30 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 28 May 2012, 4:25 PM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - It's that time of the year again, time to prepare for power outages and flooded basements. For the next few days, you can stock up on hurricane kit supplies tax-free.
Smaller items such as flashlights, batteries, and tarps must cost less than $60 to qualify for the five percent sales tax holiday discount. Generators must cost no more than $1,000.
"The tax-free holiday is a great incentive for people to come in and buy that stuff now," said Rich Halvorson, a department supervisor at Home Depot in Norfolk.
A generator has been on customer Jim Bergdoll's wish list for a while. Hurricane Irene reminded him of why he needs one. His family went four days without power.
"We had neighbors that let us plug in our refrigerator to their generator," said Bergdoll. "It had a long power cord."
Generators, extension cords and gas cans are all essential to maintain a power source when a storm hits.
"We have the readiness kit," said customer Rebecca Guzzo. "We've got the candles, first aid, batteries, and flashlights."
Guzzo says her family is thinking of purchasing a generator this year, after they were forced to play cards by candlelight for hours during Hurricane Irene last year.
Every kit should have the basics, including heavy duty flashlights, portable radios, batteries, tarps, dry foods and bottled water.
This year, two named storms - Alberto and Beryl - formed before the official start of hurricane season on June 1.
"We actually talked about that the other day in our morning meeting," said Halvorson. "The fact that hurricane season is starting earlier. We already have named storms. So far, we've been lucky they haven't hit this area."
But when they do, you want to be ready.
The tax free holiday started May 25 and ends May 31.
The General Assembly renewed the tax-free hurricane preparedness holiday through 2017.
Opinions that are derogatory, attack other users or are offensive in nature may be removed. WAVY is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark or thread. To mark a comment for review by a moderator, click "Flag as inappropriate."