vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Hurricane season sales tax holiday starts Friday, through May 31

Hurricane season begins June 1, and state officials say it’s time to stock up on supplies in case of severe weather.

From May 25-31, certain supplies will be tax-free in Virginia. The 5 percent state and local sales tax will be waived on 22 categories of items that cost less than $60, such as batteries, flashlights, bottled water, smoke detectors and first aid kits. Portable generators under $1,000 are also tax-free.

A full list is available at (Here is a Flyer.)

Last summer, the Fredericksburg region was hit by several severe storms, including Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, along with the Aug. 23 earthquake.

“The safety of our families is critically important for all Virginians,” Governor Bob McDonnell said in a press release. “The best way to protect yourself and your family is by assembling an emergency supply kit and developing emergency plans for your loved ones.”

The next sales tax holiday will be in August for school supplies and clothing. In October, sales tax will be waived from Energy Star and WaterSense products.