Pike County residents urged to prepare before disaster strikes

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

Written by Whitley Kilcrease

Although severe tropical weather has already affected some Alabama communities, Pike County area residents will have the opportunity this weekend to prepare for future emergencies before the peak months of hurricane season.

Troy and Pike County will participate in Alabama’s first severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday, which begins July 6 at 12:01 a.m. and expires July 8 at midnight.

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“I saw no reason at all for us not to participate,” Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said. “We encourage people to be prepared.”

According to the National Weather Service, hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts throughout November, but the peak of the season occurs between mid-August and late October.

Jeanna Barnes, Pike County Emergency Management Agency director, encourages residents to take advantage of the tax-free weekend and be prepared in advance for future bad weather.

“It’s hurricane season through November 30,” Barnes said. “It’s a good time to look at your severe weather plans and take advantage of the sales tax holiday.”

Exempt items include materials for weatherproofing homes such as tarpaulin, plywood, waterproof sheeting and duct tape. Most batteries, excluding coin, automobile and boat batteries, are also tax-exempt. This includes cell phone batteries and chargers.

Other exempt items consist of non-electric coolers and fire extinguishers as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Any portable generator or power cords used to provide light, communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage will be tax exempt with a single purchase sale priced of $1000 or less.

Barnes suggests residents also visit the Pike County EMA’s Facebook page or Twitter account for up-to-date information concerning weather preparedness or emergency situations.

For more information or to view a complete list of tax-exempt items, as well as a list of participating cities and counties, visit the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website at revenue.alabama.gov.