Prepare for tornado/hurricane seasons during annual Severe Weather Sales Tax Holiday

Tax HolidayMONTGOMERY – From Friday, Feb. 20 to Sunday, Feb. 22, Alabama shoppers have the opportunity to purchase severe weather supplies tax free. The Alabama Retail Association encourages Alabamians to restock emergency supplies in homes, workplaces and vehicles during this three-day tax holiday.

From 12:01 a.m. Feb. 20 to midnight Feb. 22, the following items, which the American Red Cross or Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend including in any emergency kit and cost $60 or less, can be purchased without paying Alabama’s four-percent sales tax:

  • Severe Weather SuppliesFlashlights, lanterns
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Batteries
  • First-aid kits
  • Cell phone charger
  • Two-way radios
  • Manual can openers
  • 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. For a full list of tax-free items, go to:

More than 222 city and county governments also are waiving their individual 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. This is the fourth year Alabama has observed a statewide severe weather sales tax holiday.

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.

“Severe weather can occur at any time, in any season,” said Alabama Retail President Rick Brown. “The tax holiday helps Alabama consumers remember to stock and prepare emergency kits.”

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

Businesses can help the Red Cross in its mission to provide disaster relief to as many people as possible by participating in the Consumer Donation Program. The program allows businesses to collect monetary donations either in store or online from both customers and employees. Stores interested in asking customers to give what they save during the tax holiday to the Red Cross in Alabama should contact Red Cross in Alabama at 205.439.7868.


The Alabama Retail Association represents 4,000 independent merchants and national companies that sell food, hardware, clothing and other general merchandise at more than 6,000 locations throughout Alabama. Since 1943, it has been the goal of the Alabama Retail Association to serve its members and promote what is best for the retailing industry in the state of Alabama.

MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 | 800.239.5423

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The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or

Updated Feb. 16, 2015.