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How to make the most of your disaster prep tax holiday: consumer tips from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

With a sales tax free holiday June 1-7 on storm supplies in the Sunshine State, Floridians will be stocking up. Portable generators and fuel containers are qualified for tax-free purchases, and here’s a few tips from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute to help consumers.

When the lights go out, gen­erators keep your home humming with light and power. When purchasing a generator, consider the types of items for which you will need power. Determine how many kilowatts needed for essential items (charging family cell phones, a refrigerator, etc.) during an emergency.

Research generators online before you buy. Talk with the staff at the store or ask online. Discuss safety features and ask about manufacturer fueling and care instructions.

Generators offer a variety of features. Circuit-breaker-protected outlets will guard against generator overload. A larger fuel tank will provide extra running time. Integrated fuel gauges will help keep tabs on fuel levels and prevent power interruptions. Low tone mufflers make for quieter operation. Fold-down handles and wheels can make it easier to move your generator.

If you are planning to use a generator, having a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home would be smart.  Now is a great time to pick one up and batteries are available tax-free June 1-7.

Identify the generator’s placement. Give portable generators plenty of room for ventilation. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Keep generators dry. Before a storm hits, identify how to cover and vent the generator. Buy model-specific tents or generator covers online, at home centers or a hardware store.

Have the right fuel on hand before a storm hits in an appropriate container. Select containers that seal well. store fuel in a safe place, away from heat sources and out of the reach of children. Label the can with the date of purchase and the ethanol content. Check filled cans regularly and replenish them if needed.

Remember fuel more than 30 days old should not be used in any outdoor power equipment.  Use the type of fuel recommended by the generator manufacturer. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment (for more information on proper fueling for outdoor power equipment visit

For more information on what items qualify for tax-free status June 1-7, click the following link: 

Guest Editorial:
Kris Kiser, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute