Jimmy Patronis urges Floridians to prepare for start of hurricane season

Last week, State Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis urged Floridians to prepare as Florida entered the peak of the 2022 hurricane season Saturday.

Patronis said its Prepare Florida website serves as a one-stop-shop for disaster preparedness information and tips to help Floridians ensure they are prepared.

“The peak of the 2022 hurricane season has arrived, and Floridians cannot let their guard down. As we have seen in the past, storms can develop and strengthen quickly, leaving little or no time to prepare. Now is the time to make sure your emergency plan is in place. Floridians should keep a close eye on the latest weather reports and visit PrepareFL.com now for important disaster preparedness resources. When it comes to disasters, having a plan is essential and our emergency preparedness toolkit is designed to help you prepare an inventory of your home and organize your financial information to ensure to be able to recover quickly from a storm. Don’t wait until landing is imminent; It may be too late. Prepare now, Florida! said Patronis.

The CFO’s office offered the following five disaster preparedness tips

1. Take a home inventory. Compile a video home inventory using your smartphone to walk through your home and tell what’s recorded, including value or replacement costs. Email it to easily retrieve it later.

2. Obtain flood insurance coverage. Standard home insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If you live in a flood zone, contact your agent for flood insurance. There are over 40 insurance companies that underwrite flood insurance in the Florida insurance market. Depending on the location of your home, you may be eligible to enroll in the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.

3. Make sure you are well covered. The value of your home and possessions may have increased over the past few years, or you may have made improvements or purchased expensive personal items. Review your insurance policy and check your coverage limits.

4. Consider additional coverage for living expenses. The additional living expense features of most homeowners insurance policies pay for certain expenses for losses that make homes unlivable during repairs. These expenses could include limited motel, restaurant and storage costs.

5. Don’t wait for a storm to approach. Property insurance companies don’t accept new claims or requests for increased coverage once a hurricane approaches Florida, so it’s important not to wait until a storm is imminent to check for blankets. Plus, most flood insurance policies take 30 days to take effect, so it’s essential to act now.

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Carol N. Valencia