Today, over 100 volunteers, including Hope Heroes, gathered across Florida [Read more…] about Florida Division of Emergency Management and Department of Elder Affairs Help Seniors Get Ready for Hurricane Season
There’s a flip side to the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions: Far fewer Floridians say they are prepared for hurricane season than a year ago – yet significantly fewer are concerned about the storm season that officially begins Tuesday, despite projections that it will be another very active six-month storm period. [Read more…] about As 2021 Active Hurricane Season Arrives & Pandemic Eases, Floridians Less Worried – and Less Prepared – for Storms Ahead
With the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially underway, Hello Mobile and Q Link Wireless CEO Issa Asad is taking steps now to ensure customers can stay connected to family, friends, and the outside world in the aftermath of a destructive storm.
The Governor also announced the beginning of
the Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane Supplies
Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) today are urging Florida residents and visitors to take advantage of the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, which runs May 31-June 6, in preparation for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season. [Read more…] about Governor Ron DeSantis Urges Floridians to Prepare as Hurricane Season Begins
When recovery is dependent on insurance providers, experts trust FedNat
Being a homeowner in Florida certainly has its perks — sandy beaches, sunshine, and tropical weather make for a vacation-like setting year-round. However, from June 1 to November 30 each year, the state becomes a perfect target for powerful storms like last year’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This unpredictable time of year calls for comprehensive homeowners insurance with a trustworthy, long standing and financially stable company. For this need, industry experts recommend FedNat Insurance Company. [Read more…] about FedNat Provides Stability in the Unpredictability of Hurricane Season
Following Subtropical Storm Alberto, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam is reminding Floridians to prepare for the 2018 hurricane season, which officially begins June 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts another above-average hurricane season.
“As Floridians, we understand the threat of hurricane season all too well,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “It’s imperative that Floridians have a plan in place to protect their families, homes and businesses this hurricane season. Floridians should take advantage of the hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday that begins June 1.”
Floridians can take the following steps to prepare for the 2018 hurricane season:
- Have a Plan: Know what you and your family will do in an emergency. Research the locations of hurricane shelters and find out if you can take your pet. Make sure everyone in your house knows the plan and where your emergency supplies are stored.
- Prepare a Kit: Keep a kit stocked with emergency supplies. This should include a three-day supply of food and water for each family member. Plan for one gallon of water per person per day. Supplies should also include: cash, blankets and sleeping bags, first-aid kits, battery-powered radios, flashlights and extra batteries, clothing, necessary medications, pet care, a list of important phone numbers and important documents stored in waterproof containers.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date on the latest weather information. Watch local news and weather, listen for radio updates or stay informed with your computer or smartphone.
In addition to these tips, it is crucial to have an adequate supply of food and water during a disaster.
- Keep an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to provide an accurate temperature reading even if the power is out. A freezer should be at or below 0°F and the fridge at 40°F.
- Store food on shelves high enough that it will not be contaminated in case of flood.
- Have coolers on hand to keep food cold if the power is out more than four hours. Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Discard perishables, such as meat, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items, if the power is out more than four hours.
- Use bottled water if you are concerned about your water supply. If you don’t have bottled water, boil water and let it cool before storing to drink.
During an emergency, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides necessary food and water to affected areas and helps protect animals and pets. The department’s Florida Forest Service is responsible for incident management and assists emergency responders in clearing debris and distributing supplies. Additionally, the department’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement provides law enforcement services to police departments and county sheriff’s offices as necessary.
For more information and tips on hurricane preparedness, visit FloridaDisaster.org.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.
With the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season one week away and Subtropical Storm Alberto developing and strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis reminds Floridians to prepare for severe flooding.
“Floridians can’t take this lightly and should protect themselves and their property from damage,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “Hurricane Irma last year resulted in 1,778 private flood insurance claims and according to the National Flood Insurance Program, floods in Florida have cost more than $5.1 billion since 1978. Taking steps now can help prevent major losses.”
Ahead of the weekend, here are three financial and insurance preparation steps Floridiansshould complete as soon as possible:
1. Snap a Photo: Take photos or video of high-value belongings, gather receipts and write down purchase dates (if known) and serial numbers.
2. Prepare Your Home: If it is safe to do so, take simple steps to secure your home or property. Prepare sandbags and secure any leaks or areas of your home where tropical rains or sitting water could be problematic. Some communities will offer free sandbags beginning today so check with local government officials for more information.
3. Keep Info Handy: Save your insurance company’s or agent’s phone number along with your financial institution and mortgage company’s contact information for ease of filing future claims. Keep copies of policies in a plastic bag for safe keeping, and be sure to follow your insurance company on social media for important storm-related information.
All homeowner’s insurance policies contain limitations and exclusions. You may need a separate policy for windstorm or flood if these coverages are not included in your homeowner’s policy. It is important to review your policy to understand your coverages and exclusions. While every insurance policy is different, some homeowner’s insurance policies may not cover flood damage.
Floridians with any insurance-related questions or concerns are encouraged to contact CFO Patronis’ Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
With last year’s Atlantic storm season among the strongest, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) urges residents to prepare now for the 2018 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
“Hurricane preparedness should top our to-do lists,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Preparation is the best protection against dangerous storms. Build an emergency storm supply kit, gather important utility contact information, and prepare your home to help keep your family protected.”
Chairman Graham said the PSC’s website has planning tools to assist consumers with hurricane season preparation. The PSC’s “Hurricane House,” in English and Spanish, includes 19 preparation tips for your home and your family, from planning an evacuation route, to installing carbon monoxide detectors and dealing with downed power lines. You can also find a consumer tip on making a hurricane kit, as well as a consumer tip on storm preparation.
The PSC also ensures the state’s electric utilities are prepared for storm season. Utility storm plans are designed to minimize outages and help communities, businesses, and families return to normalcy as quickly as possible. The plans include PSC-mandated storm preparedness initiatives:
- facility inspections, maintenance, and repairs;
- vegetation management;
- flooding and storm surge mitigation;
- wooden pole inspections; and
- coordination with other utilities, government, and community groups.
In October 2017, the PSC opened a docket to review utilities’ storm preparation and restoration experiences. Information was gathered in the docket and through utility presentations at a PSC workshop on May 2-3. The information will be used to complete a report and recommendations for further reducing outages and restoration times, expected to be presented to the Commission at a June 19 Internal Affairs Meeting.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William “Brock” Long urging FEMA to reconsider an upcoming vendor transition that could delay the processing of federal flood claims in Florida. CFO Patronis asked FEMA officials to release a transition plan that ensures no pending claims face delays or to consider delaying the transition until the end of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
CFO Patronis said, “…I am concerned that an upcoming vendor transition within a critical federal program may present a roadblock to Florida’s current progress. It is my understanding that the National Federal Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will soon transition to a new policy management vendor, a move that is set to impact more than 600,000 policyholders. Many of these 600,000 policyholders reside in Florida, and I fear that Floridians may be forced to bear costly consequences caused by this change. With an estimated 18,000 damage claims resulting from Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey currently pending, scheduled changes to claims processing and payment procedures stand to create delays and potentially derail Florida families from getting back to normal life during these high-stress times.”
To read the CFO’s full letter, click here.
Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday Begins Tomorrow
Governor Rick Scott joined Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly along with federal, state and local emergency response officials at the National Hurricane Center in Miami to kick off the 2017 hurricane season. Governor Scott also highlighted Florida’s disaster preparedness sales tax holiday which begins tomorrow June 2 and runs through June 4. The disaster preparedness tax cut holiday, signed into law by Governor Scott on May 25, 2017, will help Floridians save money as they purchase potentially lifesaving supplies. Hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30, and represents the period when hurricanes are most likely to form in the Atlantic Ocean.
Governor Scott said, “Last year our state was impacted by two hurricanes for the first time in over a decade and luckily, we did not see damage like many of our neighboring states. Last week, I was proud to sign a tax cut package that includes a disaster preparedness sales tax holiday so families and businesses have additional opportunities to get the supplies they need to be prepared. With the 2017 hurricane season beginning today, I encourage all Floridians to take advantage of this weekend’s disaster preparedness sales tax holiday and ensure your family is safe.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said, “It only takes one hurricane to change your life. If you – or a close family member – live in an area prone to hurricanes or inland flooding, now is the time to prepare. Know your risk and get prepared by downloading the FEMA App, making sure your flood insurance policy is up to date, and checking out ready.gov for tips on what to do before, during, or after a storm.”
Below outlines qualifying items for the disaster preparedness sales tax holiday:
Batteries (AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries)
for $30 or less
Nonelectric coolers for $30 or less for $20 or less
Reusable ice $10 or less
Portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio for $50 or less
Tarpaulin or flexible waterproof sheeting for $50 or less
First-aid kits (always exempt)
Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits for $50 or less
Gas or diesel fuel tanks for $25 or less
Portable generators for $750 or less
For more information, please visit floridarevenue.com.
Florida residents and visitors should develop a plan centered on self-sufficiency for the first 72 hours following a disaster so emergency responders can focus on restoring essential services and helping vulnerable populations. Families, businesses and individuals with special needs can design a personalized emergency plan at FLGetAPlan.com to prepare for or other disasters. The Florida Division of Emergency’s Management’s website, www.FloridaDisaster.org, also provides critical tips for disaster preparedness, such as local evacuation zones and basic information to ensure you are fully prepared for the 2017 hurricane season.
Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon said, “The 2017 Hurricane Season is upon us and Division staff has been working hard to make sure Floridians are ready. It’s never too early to begin preparing your business or family for a potential hurricane impact. Now is the right time, and the Governor’s tax holiday gives folks the opportunity to stock up on any helpful items still missing from their disaster supply kits.”
Major General Michael Calhoun, Adjutant General of Florida, said, “This past year, your Florida National Guard gained valuable experience responding to Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, the first hurricanes to make landfall in this state since Wilma. And I can assure you, and all the citizens of our great state, that we have only continued to build on the mission-focused teamwork that our state agencies and first responders demonstrated last year.”