Tuesday evening, CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis spoke to Texas State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy with Texas’ Department of Insurance and offered the full support and resources of Florida’s fire service community to assist with Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.
“Even in the heart of a devastating situation, Fire Marshal Connealy remains optimistic about recovery efforts thus far, and was grateful for the support of Florida and other states as Texas begins to pick up the pieces following the worst storm in recent memory,” said CFO Patronis. “We know recovery is measured not in days or weeks, but in months and even years, and we’re prepared to support Texas recovery efforts for the long haul.”
As waters slowly start to recede in Texas, CFO Patronis is also offering the full resources of Florida’s experienced insurance fraud investigators, who are trained to combat scams that are common following natural disasters, such as rampant unlicensed contracting and fake FEMA representatives who attempt to charge for assistance with the filing of federal flood insurance claims.
“After disaster, families should be free to focus on their health and safety, without worrying about the possibility of scammers wanting to take even more away from them than what they’ve already lost,” said CFO Patronis. “Our investigators have years of experience dealing with these types of opportunistic scammers, and we know how to track them and take them down. As the next phases of recovery come into focus, we stand ready to put more boots on the ground.”
Additionally, CFO Patronis and Fire Marshal Connealy forged a partnership to allow Florida officials to participate in Texas’ future after-action activities. This partnership will offer Florida a unique opportunity to learn valuable information about successful disaster recovery strategies and strategies that could be improved upon for future storms.
“Hurricane Harvey could easily have hit Florida’s shores, and I believe there’s much that can be learned from our Texas counterparts. I thank Texas officials for offering Florida a seat at the table to learn, to share best practices, and to improve upon our own Florida strategies ahead of the next storm.”