This week’s Tropical Storm Isaias is the perfect reminder of how we should be prepared for all hazards, all the time. While the storm didn’t cause as much damage here locally in Fairfax County as originally forecast, the storm could have turned or stalled and the impacts been worse.

Whether it’s the weather — rain, floods, snow and ice, wind events such as hurricanes or tornadoes — or man made threats, we must be prepared. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and our Office of Emergency Management, recommend having emergency preparedness plans and supplies so that you are able to survive the situation for at least 72 hours (three days).

And Virginia has a long-standing sales tax holiday weekend starting the first Friday in August every year that will help you save money on the necessary hurricane and emergency preparedness items, in addition to qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax.

This year’s sales tax holiday is Aug. 7-9, beginning Friday at 12:01 a.m. and ending on Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Examples of hurricane and emergency preparedness items include portable generators ($1,000 or less per item); gas-powered chainsaws ($350 or less per item); chainsaw accessories ($60 or less per item); and other specified hurricane preparedness items ($60 or less per item). You can check out the full list of items here (PDF) and watch this video for more details.

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