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February 21, 2014 — Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) — Both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach will participate in a sales-tax holiday weekend so residents can stock up on storm-related supplies.

The weekend will begin on Friday at 12:01 a.m. and run through midnight of Sunday , during which the payment of the nine percent sales tax collected by the two municipalities will be exempted on the sale of certain covered items.

In April of 2012 the state legislature passed an act allowing the sales tax holiday and Gov. Robert Bentley signed it on April 26 of that year.

“The bottom line is this sales tax holiday can help save lives,” Bentley said. “We want to encourage people to stock up on supplies that will help them safely weather a storm and its aftermath. Alabama is no stranger to severe storms. Whether it’s a tornado, a hurricane, or even an ice storm, we must all be prepared for whenever severe weather strikes. I commend members of the Legislature for passing this extremely important bill.”

The annual sales tax holiday was a key recommendation of Governor Bentley’s Tornado Recovery Action Council. The council was appointed by the Governor following the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak. The council’s mission has been to help further improve the state’s readiness for future severe weather.

Among the exempted items for a $60 or less purchase are batteries, cellphone batteries, cellphone chargers, portable self-powered or battery-powered radio, two-way radio, weather band radio or NOAA weather radio, portable self-powered light source, including battery-powered flashlights, lanterns or emergency glow sticks.

Also exempt are tarps, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, other flexible, waterproof Sheeting, ground anchor system, such as bungee cords or rope or tie down kit, duct tape, plywood, window film or other materials specifically designed, to protect window coverings, non-electric food storage cooler or water storage container, non-electric can opener, artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs, reusable ice, self-contained first aid kit, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, gas or diesel fuel tank or container.

As many as 225 city and county governments also are waiving their sales tax on the select emergency supplies, which adds up to as much as 10 percent savings for consumers in some areas of the state.

Alabama is one of three states with a severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday. Louisiana and Virginia hold their emergency preparedness sales tax holidays in May. Alabama Retail recommends having enough supplies in emergency kits to last 72 hours following a disaster. For information on what items to include in emergency kits, as well as steps to take before and after disasters, visit ready.gov.