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CFO Jimmy Patronis Urges Residents to Prepare Now for Possible Strong Storms, Flooding in North Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— With the National Weather Service reporting the possibility of tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico over the next five days, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis urges residents across counties in North Florida to prepare. CFO Patronis’ Disaster Fraud Assistance Strike Team (DFAST) also stands ready to deploy to affected areas to combat fraud in the event of a storm.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “The National Weather Service is predicting the possibility of severe weather this week in North Florida. Don’t take this tropical threat lightly. Gather important insurance and financial documents and snap photos of valuables for your home to make a major difference during recovery.
“Flooding is always a top concern during a storm, and residents must protect their property. Hurricane Michael last year resulted in more than 230 private flood insurance claims and floods in Florida have cost more than $5.3 billion since 1978. Taking steps now to prepare can help prevent major losses.”
Simple Steps to Prepare for a Storm:
1. Snap a Photo: Take photos or video of belongings, gather receipts and write down purchase dates (if known) and serial numbers.
2. Prepare Your Home: Take steps to secure your  property such as preparing sandbags and securing any leaks or areas of your home where tropical rains or sitting water could be problematic. Some communities will offer free sandbags, 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. When the National Weather Service issues a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning for any part of Florida, many insurance companies cease issuing new policies. When this occurs, insurance coverage cannot be purchased until 72 hours after the last watch or warning has been lifted.
Floridians with any insurance questions or concerns are encouraged to contact CFO Patronis' Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) or visit Use CFO Patronis’ Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit to help organize your financial information before and after a disaster
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