Don’t miss opportunity to be prepared

A special sort of holiday is coming. No, we’re not talking about St. Patrick’s Day or Easter – something even closer than those two celebrations.

Alabama’s annual severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday is approaching, and it’s a must-not-miss opportunity to make sure we’re prepared for whatever comes – especially tornado season, which is unfortunately upon us once more.

The state sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 25 and ends at midnight Feb. 27. During these two days, Alabamians – and, more to our point, Franklin Countians – can stock up on certain essentials that might be needed in an emergency at a savings, since state sales tax is waived. Fortunately for Franklin County, local county and city sales taxes are waived as well.

So what kinds of items can you acquire without paying sales tax this weekend? Well, the list is long, including batteries, weather radios, flashlights, tarps, plywood, other items for protecting windows in storms, ice chests, coolers, ice packs and first aid kids.

Tornados aren’t the only emergency or disaster for which you can work to be more prepared. Also included in the sales tax holiday are fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as portable generators and cords costing $1,000 or less.

The thing is, it just makes good common sense to take advantage of these two days to not only save a little money but potentially save yourself, your children or your property in the event of a catastrophic disaster.

We have all seen the damage and destruction a tornado can cause. Even straight-line winds without tornadic activity can take down trees and power lines. If that happens, do you have the items on hand you will need to weather the storm?

We’ve also seen the damage an out-of-control fire can do to a home or business, and local fire departments frequently promote the importance of having enough quality devices in your home to let you know when fire or smoke is present.

According to the Alabama Retail Association, Alabama is one of only two states with a severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday in 2022, the other state being Texas.

Let’s not fail to make the most of this unique opportunity.