Dear Fellow Floridians:
We’re almost halfway through the 2016 Hurricane Season, and we’ve remained largely lucky and unscathed. However, we’re approaching what is notoriously the strongest part of the season, and it’s proving true this year as well. The tropics are active, with Tropical Storm Gaston right now gaining strength in the east Atlantic. Tropical Storm Fiona remains a storm to watch, and a third storm system is forming in the tropics and catching the eye of meteorologists across the Southeast.
Many of you may remember a late summer storm that hit 24 years ago today — Hurricane Andrew. As it tore through Miami, it left more than 160,000
people displaced from their homes and racked up more than $26 billion in damages. Those memories remain vivid in my mind, and undoubtedly in many of your minds as well.
It’s been 10 years since our last major landfall, yet I’ve reminded you time and time again to make sure you’re prepared. All Floridians know that the question is when, not if, the next storm will come, so dust off your plans and let’s get to work! That means for us as well, and next month, we’re going to practice what we preach.
While our plans have been prepared and have lain in waiting, we’ve not performed our post-storm field work in a decade.
After a storm, phone lines are sometimes down and Internet connections just a dream, yet you still need to communicate with your insurance carrier to report damages. That’s where my office comes in. Following storms that knock out traditional communication pathways, we’ll travel to the affected community and set up satellite communications systems to help you in your time of need.
We invite the top insurance carriers in the area and we create a mobile insurance village that allows Floridians to begin the claims process in a timely and less stressful manner. To make sure that not only my office is ready but also the insurance carriers themselves, we’re planning to host a trial run soon in Tampa.
I hope you’ll join us — it’s truly a sight to see. Keep a look out for date, time and location.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida