ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Hurricane season isn't waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to wrap up. As residents head out to gather their supplies, they're having to do things a little differently.
"We have about 250 bags packed as cars drive through, we have some signage set up with some tips and tricks and we'll hand out those hurricane bags," said Amber Boulding, with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.
On Saturday, St. Petersburg Fire Rescue hosted its annual Hurricane Expo. However, this year, they handed bags full of supplies to residents in their cars to encourage social distancing.
"Everything from how you need to prepare, to look at what you're different type of risks are, to some hurricane preparedness basics, flashlights, hand sanitizer, water to get started, face coverings this year," Boulding explained.
Melissa Huddleston was one of the first residents to get her bag. With forecasters calling for an 'above-normal' season, with three to six major hurricanes, Huddleston isn't taking any chances.
"My family, we take it very seriously, we don't want any casualties, and we have family in Georgia so we feel like if we can prepare as much as possible and have our to-go bags ready, let's do it early," Huddleston said.
Governor DeSantis encouraged Floridians Friday to get ready before any storms actually hit the state.
"We want people to plan, have a plan for their family and prepare, and hopefully we get spared," said DeSantis.
Locals have no excuse. Until June 4, Floridians will be able to restock their hurricane kits with things like batteries and flashlights and tarps and generators without having to pay sales tax.
For those who are hesitating to prepare, Huddleson has some advice.
"It's sunny outside now and hurricanes will be coming soon, So get your stuff together," said Huddleston. "While the stores are still open, while things are still moderately at a good price, stock your freezers, pack your to-go bags and have an emergency plan for your family.
Click here for more information on what hurricane supplies are eligible for tax-free week.