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Houstonians stock up on emergency supplies during tax-free weekend

A number of emergency supplies are tax free, like fire extinguishers, radios, can openers, coolers and even generators.

HOUSTON — It’s hard to believe, but we’re just over a month away from the start of hurricane season, and the state wants you to start preparing this weekend.

They’re making it easy, as many emergency supplies are tax free this weekend.

It’s a lesson so many Houstonians have unfortunately learned the hard way. 

“I was not prepared for Ike when it came to either batteries, any sort of portable power," said Houston resident Greg Han. “We were fortunate. Many people I talked to were out for weeks. We were out for about 3 days through Ike.”

It's a situation Han never wants to be in again, so he’s stocking up his emergency kit this weekend. The winter storm was his reminder.

“After Yuri was when I really started taking a look at the checklist," Han said.

It happens every time a hurricane or storm heads our way. Lines wrap around stores with people stocking up last-minute on emergency supplies.

“Tarps will go really quickly, flashlights and stuff will go really quickly depending upon if power has already been lost," said Arthur Buchanan, manager of C&D Hardware & Gifts.

But Buchanan says that’s something the state is hoping you’ll do this weekend.

“It includes things like axes and hatchets, all of your standard household batteries," Buchanan said. “Having this sort of little bit of a sale statewide by not having to pay taxes on these things just makes it easier for people to be able to prepare.”

A number of emergency supplies are tax free, like fire extinguishers, radios, can openers, coolers and even generators.

“It looks like they’re predicting a little active season. It’s the perfect opportunity to save a little money and get ready before the rush," Han said.

That tax-free discount lasts until Monday at midnight, and you can order online as long as it’s paid for and accepted for immediate shipment.

Here's a list of what's included and what's not.