As Tropical Storm Nate approaches the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is urging Gulf Coast and Big Bend residents to prepare now for the possibility of severe weather in the coming days.
“Floridians should take a proactive approach and stock up on necessary supplies now, days ahead of the storm’s arrival,” said CFO Patronis. “While the storm’s track remains uncertain, all Floridians should closely monitor local weather alerts and be prepared for the possibility of severe weather.”
CFO Patronis reminds Floridians that hurricane preparedness plans should include copies of insurance policies and cards, insurance company contact information and financial account(s) records. The Department’s Insurance Consumer Helpline (1-877-MY-FL-CFO) is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST to answer any insurance-related questions that consumers or business owners may have.
In the days ahead of the storm’s potential impact, homeowners are encouraged to take these simple, specific steps to protect their homes and property:
- Inventory household items, including receipts, purchase dates, and serial numbers. Photograph or videotape each room of your home. Email the information to yourself to create a digital record.
- Shore up your structure. Buy materials that can secure your property and minimize your losses. Consider covering your windows with shutters, siding, or plywood. Move vehicles into a garage or carport. Carry outdoor grills and patio furniture inside.
- Read through your insurance policies and take note of hurricane deductibles. Most policies have a hurricane deductible equivalent to 2, 5 or 10 percent of a home’s insured value. If your property is damaged, you will be responsible for a portion of the repair costs.
To keep all insurance and banking information in one easily-accessible place, consumers can download a copy of the Department’s free Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit. The Toolkit serves as a one-stop shop for all finance, emergency and insurance contact information. Download and complete the toolkit today.