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Stock up now for hurricane, all seasons

Fisher’s Ace Hardware in LaPlace, like businesses across the River Parishes and the state of Louisiana, are offering options to customers today and Sunday as part of the Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

The sales tax move exempts the 5 percent local sales tax and the 4 percent state sales tax on the first $1,500 of the sales price of qualifying items.

Fisher’s Ace owner Mary Claire Fisher said the store is stocked for the sale, but acknowledged many shoppers don’t buy hurricane supplies until a storm is present in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane season officially starts Monday, running through Nov. 30, but the action has already begun with Tropical Storm Ana striking North Carolina earlier this month.

Hurricane season 2015 marks three years since Hurricane Isaac devastated the River Parishes and 10 years since Hurricane Katrina left a lasting impression on the Gulf Coast.

Despite that legacy of destruction, an active storm already striking the U.S. in 2015 and predictions of more storms to come, Fisher is right on point. Too many times we wait until the threat is eminent before acting.

Please avoid that temptation this year.

Take advantage of the tax breaks and stock up now. Many of the items highlighted in the sales push have value beyond hurricane season.

They include portable self-powered light sources, self-powered radios, gas tanks, packages of batteries, cell phone batteries and chargers, non-electric food storage coolers and carbon monoxide detectors.

University of Colorado scientists predicted seven named storms — three of them hurricanes — when forecasting the storm season earlier this year.

On Wednesday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said there is a 70 percent likelihood of three to six storms forming this year that would become hurricanes.

It doesn’t matter if the prediction is for a dozen category five storms or for just one slow-moving category one hurricane. When the wrong storm catches the right spot, the danger can be fatal.

Stock up now, because the threat is real.