By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
State Senator Greg Reed (R) from Jasper issued a written statement to remind Alabamians that this weekend is a sales tax holiday for purchasing weather preparedness supplies.
Senator Reed said, “As hot weather bears down on us and hurricane season is well underway, I urge folks across Alabama to use the sales tax exemption as an opportunity to prepare for storms that can come at a moment’s notice. We all know too well that you can never be over-prepared for the wrath of violent weather.”
State Representative Bill Poole (R) from Tuscaloosa said, “On April 27 of last year, we were given a vivid reminder of the need to be prepared for when severe weather strikes. I am hopeful that this sales tax holiday will encourage families to think about their severe weather plans and make sure they have the items they need to weather any storm.”
Items that qualify for a sales tax exemption this weekend include: several types of batteries, including cell phone batteries and chargers; battery-powered radios; NOAA weather radios; flashlights, lanterns, and emergency glow sticks; first aid kits; duct tape; plywood; portable generators; gas or diesel fuel containers; tarpaulins and plastic sheeting; any non-electric food storage cooler or water storage container; non-electric can openers; any artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs, or reusable ice; fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors; and ground anchor systems such as cords or rope or tie-down kits
The exemption on sales tax for the listed items begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight on Sunday.
The legislation that created the weather preparedness was sponsored by Sen. Reed and Rep. Poole in the aftermath of the April 27 2011 tornado event that ravaged communities throughout central and northern Alabama.
According to the Tornado History Project since 1950, 1840 tornados have struck the state of Alabama killing 704 people and injuring 9058 persons. The longest tornado path recorded in the state is 202 miles long and the widest path measured is 2640 yards. All 67 counties of the state of Alabama have been affected by tornados. In 2011 alone, 145 tornados struck the state killing 268 Alabama residents and injuring another 2250 people. More people have been killed by tornadoes in Alabama since 1950 than in any other state. The state also has a history of hurricanes, with Hurricanes Frederick and Ivan being the two that hit the state the most severely. The state can also get severe winter weather with the snow storm of 1993 being among the most memorable.
In a hurricane, a snow storm, or a tornado roofs can be destroyed and utilities can be interrupted for weeks so it is important that every family is prepared for such an emergency.