Attorney General Ashley Moody is releasing the 2019 Hurricane Preparedness Guide just ahead of hurricane season. The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins tomorrow and runs through the end of November. Attorney General Moody is urging Floridians to review the preparedness guide now and utilize the tips and checklists inside to be ready in case disaster strikes.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida has experienced back-to-back active hurricane seasons and the streak could continue this year. Our 2019 Hurricane Preparedness Guide is full of tips and checklists to help better prepare you and your family for a hurricane, as well as, information to help consumers avoid price gouging and other disaster-related scams that unfortunately arise in the aftermath of destructive storms.”
Below are some important hurricane preparedness tips from the guide:
· Know evacuation routes and stock up on food, water and emergency supplies;
· Verify that storm-related products are actually hurricane-proof or impact-proof before purchasing;
· After the storm, be wary of any contractor who approaches unsolicited or offers to perform repairs at a discount with leftover supplies from another job; and
· Research recovery charities before giving, as solicitations increase following a disaster, and so do charity scams designed to profit off the goodwill of others.
For more tips, view the Attorney General’s 2019 Hurricane Preparedness Guide, here.
With the start of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season tomorrow, Attorney General Moody will launch a week-long Twitter campaign to encourage Floridians to prepare and know how to spot and avoid storm-related scams. Follow the campaign online at Twitter.com/AGAshleyMoody.
Price gouging is one of the most common consumer complaints reported before, during and after a hurricane. During a declared state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell essential commodities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration. For more information about price gouging, click here.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office aggressively investigates allegations of price gouging and works with businesses and consumers in real-time to stop potentially unlawful price increases, so Floridians can afford essential storm-related commodities when needed most. Price gouging investigations are time and document intensive, but Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division is dedicated to pursuing justice. Consumers can help investigators by learning what to record and report. Guidelines for reporting price gouging can be viewed here.
Floridians who suspect a scam or would like to report an incident of price gouging during a declared state of emergency should call 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.
Today, also marks the beginning of the 2019 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. The tax holiday lasts through June 6. Floridians should take advantage of the tax break now to save on storm-related items such as batteries, flashlights, radios, tie-down kits and more. For more information on the sales tax holiday, click here.