TAMPA (WFLA) – As state and local officials continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian, Attorney General Ashley Moody has activated Florida’s price gouging hotline to protect consumers.

Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for counties in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The price-gouging law applies within the area of the declared state of emergency.

The law prohibits extreme increases in the price of essential commodities in response to an officially declared emergency. That includes prices of food, water, hotels, ice, gas, lumber and other equipment.

“Floridians in the projected path of this storm should take steps now to ensure they are prepared for a strike and the possibility of days without electricity. This means purchasing essential commodities such as food, water and fuel. I have activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline in an effort to prevent gouging, so Floridians can afford essential items now. Please report gouging to my office by calling (866) 9NO-SCAM or download our new reporting app—NO SCAM,” Ashley Moody said.

Price gougers can be fined $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations within a 24-hour period.

State law criminalizes the sale of goods and services to the public without possession of a business tax receipt. Violators of the law can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

You can learn more about price gouging and how to protect yourself on AG Moody’s website.