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Florida activates price gouging hotline ahead of Tropical Storm Ian

You can call the hotline or submit a report online if you see suspected price gouging in your area ahead of or after the storm.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida and the Tampa Bay area remain in the cone of uncertainty for Tropical Storm Ian, which is forecast to become a hurricane before it makes landfall. 

Ahead of the storm's anticipated effects, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida.

This means it's important to make sure you have your hurricane plan in place and are stocked with your hurricane kit. As you finalize those plans and add those last-minute items to your kit, there is the potential for supplies to run low or even run out at your local supermarket. 

All of these preparations open the potential for price gouging to happen. If you do see instances of price gouging happening in your area and you are in a county covered by the state of emergency, you can report it using the state's price gouging hotline, Attorney General Ashley Moody's office said in a release Saturday. 

You can dial 866-966-7226 or 1-866-9NO-SCAM. You can also file suspected price gouging reports online at MyFloridaLegal.com or by using the free No Scam reporting app. 

It's important to note Florida's price gouging law only applies to items and services essential to the preparation for and/or recovery from a storm within areas where a state of emergency has been declared. 

Items that are covered under the price gouging law — which prohibits "excessive" price increases of these items — include the following:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Hotel rooms
  • Ice
  • Gas
  • Lumber
  • Equipment
  • Storm-related services needed as a direct result of the weather event.

To find resources to help you and your family prepare for the storm, click here.

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