Emergency supplies are tax free this weekend


It’s the middle of severe weather season, and everyone should be prepared for the worst.

This weekend is a perfect time for you to get your severe weather supplies because emergency supplies are tax free.

Severe weather can hit in an instant!

“We are in that time of the year where it could be a beautiful sunny day in the morning, and then in the afternoon it all turns and it all changes,” says Waco Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Patterson. “We could be under a severe weather threat with possible tornadic activity.”

Hail or strong winds can cause major damage, so being ready for anything is important. 

“What we encourage individuals to do to get prepared is several things,” Patterson says. “One is….this is a good time to check your supplies, your disaster supply kit. And if you don’t have one, this is a good time to develop one.”

Because once we’re under a watch or severe weather warning, it’s too late to start thinking of what you and your family are going to do. 

“Start being aware, start making those plans, review your plans, talk to your family,” Patterson says. “Make sure you have that done. When the warning occurs, that’s the part when you really need to step up your game. Pay attention because there is something coming through the county at that time.” 

Find an area in your home where your family can seek shelter. If your power goes out during a storm, having a weather radio will help get weather alerts. You will also want to download the FOX44 phone app.

“In the City of Waco, we have outdoor warning sirens. Several other cities in our county have outdoor weather sirens,” Patterson explains.

Many items you need for your disaster kit are tax free this week.

“We sell most of all that stuff that will be on there – coolers, axes, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors – we have a little bit of all it,” says Keith’s Ace Hardware Manager Brian Schmunsler.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

  • Less than $3000
    • Portable generators
  • Less than $300
    • Emergency ladders
    • Hurricane shutters
  • Less than $75
    • Axes
    • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
    • Can openers – nonelectric
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
    • Fire extinguishers
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
    • Hatchets
    • Ice products – reusable and artificial
    • Light sources – portable self-powered (including battery operated)
      • Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
    • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
    • Radios – portable self-powered (including battery operated) – includes two-way and weather band radios
    • Smoke detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

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