National Hurricane Preparedness Week begins Monday, and Louisiana gets a bit of a head start with the 2014 Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday this Saturday and Sunday.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security spokesperson Mike Steele says a good rule of thumb is to get these items now before there is a critical need.

"Everyone's kind of been through those scenarios where you have the long lines, you know, where everybody's trying to get those last minute supplies," Steele said. "And that's not a good situation for anyone to go through."

Everyone's kind of been through those scenarios where you have the long lines.

The sales tax holiday suspends the state sales tax on hurricane-preparedness items like batteries, portable generators and flashlights. Buyers are exempt from paying taxes up to $1,500.

Steele says in addition to having supplies on hand, establishing a good communication plan with friends and family is important.

"Get to know your neighbors ahead of time," Steele recommends, "so that if we are faced with a crisis, you can kind of work together, and everybody can pull together and get through these situations."

The message behind National Hurricane Preparedness Week is to get prepared for possible storms before they are bearing down on the coast. Steele says it's a good idea to be prepared not only during hurricane season, but year-round.

"It can be a man-made situation, with maybe an industrial site, that can cause you to be evacuated in a matter of minutes," Steele said. "Or it could be a situation like a hurricane where we do have a few days to kind of prepare."

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