CULLMAN - Alabama will hold its sixth annual severe weather preparedness tax holiday, starting Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at midnight, giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain severe weather preparedness items free of state sales tax. The City of Cullman and Cullman County will also waive taxes for the holiday, meaning consumers can save 10 percent on certain items.
We reached out to Cullman’s resident severe weather preparedness expert for spring severe weather tips.
“All the safety tips are the same,” said Phyllis Little, director of the Cullman County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). “But people should always have more than one way to receive alerts of severe weather.”
Shoppers can take advantage of the tax holiday to ensure that they have multiple ways to be alerted in the event of severe weather.
According to the Alabama Retail Association, the tax-exempt items include the following priced at $60 or less:
- Flashlights, lanterns
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- First-aid kits
- Cell phone charger
- Two-way radios
- Manual can openers
- Tarps and plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Fire extinguishers
- Tie-down kits, bungee cords or rope
Other tax-free items include: Coolers, ice packs, plywood, window film and smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors. Portable generators and power cords costing $1,000 or less are also tax-free. See: https://alabamaretail.org/news/2017-severe-weather-tax-holiday.
For a full list of tax-free items and participating cities and counties, go to: https://alabamaretail.org/resources/salestaxholidays/severe-weather-prep....
Little also explained that the Cullman area is getting a new emergency alert system.
“The new fully-automatic alerts will be directly from the National Weather Service,” she said. “If a tornado warning is issued, the sirens will be turned on automatically, and will only be sounded in the area that has been issued a tornado warning.”
Little says that, under the current system, the sirens must be turned on manually, and ring out all over the county, regardless of where the tornado was spotted.
In the event of severe weather, if you are not in a safe place, get to the nearest severe weather shelter.
For a full list of Cullman County shelters, see: http://www.cullmanema.org/assets/PDFs/CommunityShelterList.pdf
On March 2, the Cullman EMA is teaming up with the National Weather Service, and will host a Storm Spotter Conference at the Colony Educational Complex, which will be free to the public.
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