Tallahassee, Florida- August 25, 2012
Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater today urged Floridians to continue to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and prepare to “Protect their Home Base” including taking the necessary financial and fire safety precautions to weather the storm. Tropical Storm Isaac is intensifying and is expected to make landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday evening as a Category 1 hurricane.
“As Tropical Storm Isaac takes aim at Florida, we are all reminded of the impact a storm can have on our home or business, both structurally and financially,” CFO Atwater said. “There is still time to prepare, plan and execute your plan before this storm makes landfall and to expedite your recovery after the storm,” CFO Atwater said.
Look for the “Protect Your Home Base” logo on the Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services’ website, http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/Storm/, which offers videos, brochures, resources and tips, along with a disaster preparedness section that includes a home inventory checklist. The division has activated the special consumer helpline, 1-800-22-STORM, in preparation to assist hurricane victims with insurance matters.
CFO Atwater offers these key financial and fire safety tips in preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac:
• Withdraw enough money for 3-5 days before a pending storm.
• Be smart and safe about carrying or keeping large amounts of cash, as criminals may use anxious times to take advantage of consumers.
• Take important financial papers with you in a waterproof container if you must evacuate, including insurance papers for home, auto, boat, rental property, business; passports; birth certificates; mortgage and other loan payment documents and your latest tax return.
• Get receipts for cash purchases before and after a storm. Use credit cards to finance minimal repairs when necessary. Document all transactions.
• Maintain copies of your household inventory and other documentation, including photos. This will assist your insurance adjuster in assessing the value if your property sustains storm damage.
• Write down the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurance company. Keep this information in a safe place and make sure you have access to it if you are forced to evacuate your home.
• Immediately report property damage to your insurance agent and company.
• Never use a generator indoors or in any enclosed area.
• Avoid using candles and do not use a candle or lantern near a generator or stored fuel.
For additional information on hurricane preparedness, call 1-877-My-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away capital, and ensuring transparency and accountability in spending.