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Severe Weather Tax Holiday this weekend

Alabama’s annual Severe Weather Sales Tax Holiday give people an opportunity to replenish any needed supplies for the upcoming severe weather season.

The holiday will run from at 12:01 a.m. on Friday through midnight on Sunday. Pike County Emergency Management Agency Director Herb Reeves said the spring typically brings an increased chance of severe weather to the area.

“The biggest threat to our area is severe thunderstorms, straight-line winds and tornadoes,” Reeves said. “We can be on the fringe of hurricanes, but the main danger from them is they spawn straight-line winds and possible tornadoes.”

Reeves said people should be prepared for severe weather at any time of the year, but especially during the traditional storm seasons — March through May and November.

One of the tax exempt items this weekend are weather radios. Reeves said a weather radio can be a critical source of information during severe weather events.

“When you have a power outage, you can’t get information from your television,” he said. “If you lose power, a battery-powered or hand-cranked National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio can provide you with information on the weather and where you can find shelter.”

Reeves said when the lights go out during a storm, having flashlights with good batteries are indispensable. He said it’s also important to have a first-aid kit on hand to treat minor injuries if the need arises.

He said people in the area tend to shelter in place. While not on the list of tax exempt items, Reeves said it’s a good idea for people to have some type of protective headgear — like a hardhat — to protect their head in case of a structure collapse or from falling debris.

He also recommended people take stock of their emergency supplies before the severe weather season begins. He said the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends people have at least three days of food and water in reserve to help the get through an emergency situation.

For more information on preparing for severe weather, visit ready.gov/kit and ready.gov/plan.