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Experts warn inflation and shipping delays could hamper hurricane preps

On average, contractors are having to wait 4-6 months to get ahold of hurricane impact windows.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. — The alarm is being sounded earlier than usual this year. 

Floridians are being asked to get ready for hurricane season early because they might not be able to find what they need to protect their families.

"Every prudent Florida family needs to prepare accordingly," Victor Claar, an economist with Florida Gulf Coast University, said.

From water, to batteries and hurricane shutters, homeowners are getting ready for the worst. Claar says doing it now could save your wallet.

"Because there are supply chain disruptions, it doesn't hurt to go shopping a little early. If there are things you know, that will prepare you even better for hurricane season, then go ahead and make those moves now," Claar said. 

Supply chain issues and high demand could make it so the essentials come off the shelves sooner. The problem this year is your kit of key items isn't the only worry, home improvements are too.

"With manufacturer delays and delivery times, it's probably more important than ever, that we really start recognizing how we want to protect the home. We need to make sure that we're prepared for the season as early as possible," Tat Canata, a home improvement expert in South Florida said. 

He says the impacts to protecting your home are widespread. Anything from hurricane windows to shutters and roofing might be affected.

"A lot of it has to do with difficulties finding products, delivery times, and delays with manufacturing. It's also the demand right now," Canata said.

He says, on average, contractors are having to wait 4-6 months for hurricane impact windows to arrive. That's why, because of possible delays, experts say fewer people could be ready for hurricane season this year.

"It's also important for the homeowner to have a backup plan as to what we're going to do in case of it and not wait to the last minute. So, whether you have a little bit of plywood or you have existing shutters that you just don't want to put up anymore, having them there in case of an emergency is certainly always important," Canata said.

With prices being up, it's important to remember you could save some money during Florida's tax-free holiday. This year, it runs from May 28 to June 10. Items like flashlights, lanterns, batteries, generators, and tarps that are normally taxable goods in the state won't be taxed during that period to help give Floridians a break.

    

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