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Recession Hinders Hurricane Preparedness

August 17th, 2009 by flanews

Double digit unemployment and the elimination of a sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies is leaving thousands of Floridians with fewer dollars to prepare for a storm. As Whitney Ray tells us, as Florida approaches the peak of hurricane season many people are scrambling to stock up.

Treva Denhardt and her great-grandson are stocking up on extra batteries.

Just in case our batteries go out

Sunday people flooded the Wakulla County Ace Hardware store to pickup supplies before Tropical Storm Claudette struck the Florida Panhandle.

There is activity now. Weve got a few guys out there with names and the one that shot up yesterday was interesting because recently, July and August was slow, but yesterday morning we were extremely busy, said Ace Hardware employee Joe Childs.

A recent report found half of Floridians dont have a survival kit and many will wait until a hurricane is headed their way before stocking up. The state nixed the hurricane supply tax break meant to encourage Floridians to start early.

With double digit unemployment and the state eliminating the sales tax holiday many people dont have the money to buy hurricane supplies. Tahembi Simmons only has half the recommended supplies to ride out a storm.

Right now Im looking for a job so there hasnt been as much money in the household to put out for extra things, said Simmons.

But with the peak of hurricane season just around the corner and storms developing in the Atlantic emergency mangers say Floridians should make being prepared a top priority. For a list of supplies and emergency contact numbers go to http://www.floridadisaster.org/

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