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Consumer Alert:

08/18/2008

CFO Sink Urges Floridians to Prepare for Tropical Storm Fay

 

 

CONTACT:
Jerri Franz
(850) 413-2851

Hurricane Toolkit available online at www.MyFloridaCFO.com
TALLAHASSEE– Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today urged Floridians to continue to monitor and prepare for Tropical Storm Fay including taking the necessary financial and fire safety precautions to weather the storm with the help of a Hurricane Toolkit available online at www.MyFloridaCFO.com.  Tropical Storm Fay is intensifying and is expected to reach hurricane strength before landfall on the Florida peninsula.
 
The Hurricane Toolkit, available by visiting the Department of Financial Services’ Web site, www.MyFloridaCFO.com and clicking on the “Hurricane Season 2008” button, contains hurricane preparedness tips, emergency contact information and advises residents of information they will need to have on hand in the event they need to make a claim.  Floridians may also reach the department at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO which provides service in Spanish as well as English.
 
“Each year hurricane season reminds us of the importance of having not only a safety plan in place to protect our homes and families from the devastation hurricanes can bring, but also a plan to protect financial documents and expedite recovery after the storm,” said CFO Sink.
 
In addition to the toolkit, the department’s Web site contains information on how to file an insurance claim, answers to the most-frequently-asked insurance questions, and disaster-preparedness guides in both English and Spanish.  Floridians can also find links to other hurricane-related resources, including the Florida Division of Emergency Management, National Flood Insurance Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross, My Safe Florida Home program and more.
 
Key Tips to Protect Consumer Financial Data
 
When you hear warnings that a hurricane is near, you should also take precautions to secure your financial safety.
  • Remember to withdraw enough money for 3-5 days before a pending storm.
  • Be smart and safe about carrying or keeping large amounts of cash, as criminals will use these anxious times to take advantage of consumers and this increases the risk of being robbed.
  • Take important financial papers with you in a waterproof container if you must evacuate, including insurance papers for home, auto, boat, rental property, business; passports; birth certificates; mortgage and other loan payment documents and your latest tax return.
  • Get receipts for cash purchases before and after a storm. Use credit cards to finance minimal repairs when necessary. Document all these transactions.
  • Maintain copies of your household inventory and other documentation, including photos.  This will assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property.
  • Write down the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurance company, which may differ from your agent’s contact information.  Keep this information in a safe place and make sure you have access to it if you are forced to evacuate your home.
  • Immediately report property damage to your insurance agent and company.
  • Never use a generator indoors or in any enclosed area including a garage, carport or sunroom.
  • Avoid using candles and do not use a candle or lantern near a generator or stored fuel.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.