The onset of hurricane season reminds us how important it is to be
prepared. In addition to stocking up on essentials like flashlights,
batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food; it is also important to do
what we can to protect our homes from hurricane damage.
You can learn about the steps you can take to harden your home through the
My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program. From the Panhandle to the Florida Keys,
this free state program is helping homeowners learn about the safety
benefits of strengthening their homes. An added benefit, taking steps to
mitigate your home may result in significant wind insurance discounts.
IApply for your free wind
inspection today at
www.MySafeFloridaHome.com. MSFH has performed more than 230,000 free
wind inspections to date and is working with thousands of homeowners who
wish to strengthen their homes. After receiving a free inspection, you will
get a wind inspection report that gives you information about how to improve
your home’s resistance to hurricane damage.
Your inspection report will also tell you if you are eligible for discounts
on your wind insurance premiums. Nearly 60 percent of Floridians who have
received a free wind inspection have learned they are eligible for wind
insurance discounts averaging $226—all without making a single improvement.
This hurricane season, make sure you are prepared by signing up for your
free wind inspection from
MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME PARTNERS TO HOLD STORM EXPO IN MIAMI
Representatives from CFO Sink’s office to sign-up homeowners for
free wind inspections
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced that
representatives from the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) My
Safe Florida Home program have partnered to host the Storm Prep Expo
at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Hall C, on Saturday, May 31,
2008, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 1, from 11 a.m. – 6
p.m. Representatives from CFO Sink’s office will be on hand to sign
up homeowners for free wind inspections, in addition to assisting
attendees with insurance questions.
Floridians in single-family, site-built homes are eligible for free
wind inspections performed by qualified hurricane mitigation
inspectors. Properties not eligible for free wind inspections
include mobile and manufactured homes, apartments, condominiums,
multi-family dwellings and businesses.
The MSFH program has performed 20,061 free wind inspections in
Miami-Dade County. Nearly 11,933 homeowners in Miami-Dade County
have learned through wind inspections that they may already be
eligible for discounts of about $430 on their wind insurance
premiums, based on the existing structure of their homes.
In 2007, the Florida Legislature directed the MSFH program to
provide inspections for at least 400,000 site-built, single-family,
residential properties and provide grants to at least 35,000
applicants. The MSFH program has provided more than 247,442 free
wind inspections to date. Participating homeowners receive a wind
inspection report, which suggests ways homeowners can harden their
homes against storm damage and informs homeowners if they are
currently eligible to save money on their wind insurance premiums.
To date, 59 percent of homeowners who have received a free wind
inspection are eligible for discounts on their wind insurance
premiums averaging $217 statewide. For additional information, log
LEON COUNTY'S LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS “ACT-OUT FOR HEALTH” TO WIN
KIDCARE PSA CONTEST
Three Lincoln High School students enjoyed the spotlight
today after winning the Florida KidCare “Act-Out for Health”
video PSA contest. Kyle Johnson, Christle Moorer and Darsak
Patel were honored by Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex
Sink and Healthy Kids Executive Director Rich Robleto today
for writing and producing a :30 second public service
announcement promoting the state-subsidized health insurance
program for kids under the age of 19. Their video PSA showed
what could happen if a student without health insurance got
hurt and urged families with uninsured kids to apply for
“We asked them to do two things, be creative and promote
KidCare, and the judges were very impressed with the winning
video that was submitted,” said CFO Sink, who chairs the
Healthy Kids board.
The PSA contest was created as a pilot project in Leon
County to engage middle and high school students and
increase awareness of the KidCare program among 12-18 year
olds after research showed a large number of kids in this
age group lack health care benefits.
“We wanted to do some creative outreach after seeing the
data from the recent study by the University of Florida
Institute for Child Health Policy. More than 500,000 kids
don’t have health insurance in Florida and the highest
percentage of those kids are between the ages of 12 and 18,”
said Robleto. “This contest allowed kids in this age-range,
whether they have insurance or not, to share their
perceptions and thoughts about getting good healthcare and
why families should enroll in the KidCare program.”
The winning video PSA will be loaded on several social media
web sites, including YouTube, MySpace and Facebook to get
the word out about KidCare. KidCare staff is also working
with the Department of Education to air the PSA in middle
and high schools. Each of the Lincoln High school students
were given a $500 gift card for Best Buy and their teacher,
Reggie Grant, was given a $1,500 donation for the school.
Also attending the press event in Tallahassee today were the
students who submitted the second and third place entries.
Marquis Williams and Igor Anderson from Godby High school
won second place and they each received a $350 gift card for
Best Buy; teacher Charles Kilbourn accepted a $1,000
donation for the school. Nims Middle school student Janaa
Davis’ video came in third place and she received a $200
gift card to Best Buy and her teacher Daniella Smith
accepted an $800 donation for the school.
CFO Sink said the PSA contest may expand to other parts of
the state later this year to allow more students to reach
their uninsured peers with messages and images that
demonstrate the importance of staying healthy, having access
to doctors and applying for KidCare.
Florida KidCare accepts applications year-round and children
enrolled in the program receive regular doctor’s visits,
immunizations and routine vision and hearing screening. Most
families pay a premium of $15 or $20 a month for KidCare
coverage. Medicaid coverage provides eligible families with
health care for no cost.
Nearly 1.4 million children are served by Florida KidCare,
of which 1.1 million are Medicaid customers and more than
255,000 are enrolled in MediKids, Children’s Medical
Services or Healthy Kids.
About Florida KidCare
Florida KidCare offers affordable, quality health insurance
for children under the age of 19, whose parents can’t afford
private health coverage but earn too much to qualify for
Medicaid. Children enrolled in the program receive regular
doctor’s visits, dental check-ups, and immunizations. For
additional information please visit www.floridakidcare.com.
CFO SINK ANNOUNCES
ARREST FOR FRAUDULENT USE OF TAX DOLLARS IN PENSACOLA
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Secretary of the Florida
Department of Community Affairs Tom Pelham, and State
Attorney for the 1st Judicial Circuit of Florida William
Eddins today announced the arrest of an Escambia County
woman charged with fraudulently obtaining nearly $150,000 in
state funds from a local non-profit organization.
“It is upsetting to think someone would steal taxpayer
dollars from distressed communities trying to become better
places to work and raise a family,” said CFO Alex Sink. “I
am grateful to our staff and cooperating investigators
committed to ensuring every dollar is accounted for and
those responsible for defrauding taxpayers are held
Thelma Jean Manley, 49, former Community Liaison for the
Governor’s Front Porch Revitalization Council of Pensacola,
Inc., was charged Wednesday with aggravated white collar
crime, which is a first degree felony. If convicted, Manley
could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, in addition
to restitution and fines. The arrest is the result of a
year-long joint investigation by the Department of Financial
Services’ Office of Fiscal Integrity, the Department of
Community Affairs Office of Inspector General, and the 1st
Judicial Circuit’s State Attorney’s Office.
The investigation indicated Manley allegedly converted state
funds, as well as other funds received from other local
non-profit organizations to her own use. The funds were
earmarked for the Pensacola Front Porch Revitalization
program to provide a multitude of services to people in
need. The monies were funded with grants originating from
the Department of Community Affairs, Department of Health,
Department of Education, and Gulf Power Company donations.
The Office of Fiscal Integrity is responsible for statewide
investigations of allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse
involving State of Florida property and money. To report
fraud, waste, or abuse of State of Florida resources, call
1-800-GET-LEAN (1-800-438-5326) or the Office of Fiscal
Integrity directly at 850-413-5514.
CFO SINK SPONSORS
RESOLUTION HONORING THE FLORIDA TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is celebrating
its 30th anniversary in 2008. Floridians and visitors have gained an
appreciation for the state's heritage through the dedication of the Trust,
which serves as Florida's statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated to
historic preservation. The Trust protects Florida’s unique historical,
architectural, and archaeological resources through the use of advocacy,
education and historic property stewardship.
Floridians joined together in the 1970s to save
the Old Capitol in Tallahassee as a
symbol of Florida's important role in the Nation's
With a resolution presented by CFO Sink this week, the
Governor and Cabinet recognized the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation
for 30 years of service and dedicated stewardship to the
causes of historic and cultural affairs in Florida.
Idea of the Week
Idea: Time to check out your insurance coverage
With hurricane season upon us, it is recommended that people with homeowners
or renters insurance policies do the following:
• Take periodic inventories of belongings. Supplement them with photos or
• Keep sales receipts or cancelled checks for certain possessions to
validate insurance claims.
• Store copies of insurance policies, key receipts and inventories away from
home or in fireproof safes.
• Review policies annually. Keep phone numbers of your insurance agents
• Consider buying extra protection, as floaters or riders, for jewelry,
artwork, antiques or other high-priced items.
A recent NAIC survey found that 48 percent of homeowners didn't have any
inventories of their possessions. Of those with a checklist, 58 percent
lacked receipts and 32 percent didn't have any photos.
A comprehensive list of your belongings and their value will
help you file an insurance claim after a disaster
The NAIC survey also found that 43 percent of
U.S. adults with homeowners or renter’s insurance owned policies that
provided a replacement cost payout. Of the remaining consumers, 27 percent
indicated their policies insured their homes for the actual cash value,
while another 28 percent did not know which type of coverage they purchased.
Creating an inventory and storing it in a
safe location away from home is one of the most basic — and most effective —
disaster preparedness steps anyone can take to help protect themselves and
their financial future.