Volume 1 Number 33
August 16, 2004



Hurricane Preparedness Information


National Weather Service Tropical Prediction Center

Hurricanes can cause severe damage.  Before a hurricane hits, you should take steps to protect your property and lessen damages from hurricanes.  The Department of Financial Services has a Natural Disaster guide to help you prepare for disasters.  It also has useful information on handling claims and obtaining help. Flooding is a major cause of damage after a storm and insureds can file a flood claim under the National Flood Insurance Program.



Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher wants Florida residents to have their hurricane supplies and escape plans in order before the next storm threatens.

“Preparedness is the best defense - both for a storm and the aftermath that could lure unlicensed adjusters and scam artists,” said Gallagher, who also oversees the Department of Financial Services. “It is unfortunate, but there are individuals who will try to take advantage of other people’s misfortune. Residents should be wary of certain offers for assistance, especially if cash is demanded.”

The National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center reported this morning that Tropical Storm Earl has degenerated into an open tropical wave located in the central Caribbean Sea. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles per hour. No more advisories will be issued on Earl unless regeneration occurs.

Hurricane Danielle is maintaining strength at 105 miles per hour and is no immediate threat to land, located 915 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. The storm is moving to the northwest at 17 miles per hour with a gradual turn to the north predicted.

Gallagher suggests these storm preparation tips: 

    Be sure you know what your deductible is for hurricane losses.  Most policies now have a hurricane deductible of two to five percent of a home’s insured value.  If your property is damaged, you will be responsible for a portion of the repair costs.

    Inventory your household items, including receipts, purchase dates and serial numbers.  Photograph or videotape your possessions.  Keep copies of this information and your insurance policies in a safe place and keep the originals in a safe deposit box.

    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.

    When a hurricane threatens, take action to protect your property.  Buy the materials you need to secure your property and minimize your losses.  Cover your windows with shutters, siding or plywood.  Move vehicles into a garage or carport when possible.  Grills and/or patio furniture should be moved inside.

    Keep materials such as plywood and plastic on hand in case you need to make temporary repairs after a storm.  Keep receipts for those repairs so that your insurance company can reimburse you.

Hurricane season continues until November 30.  For more hurricane preparation tips, visit the Department of Financial Services’ web site at www.MyFloridaCFO.com.  If a storm strikes, Gallagher will again activate the toll-free storm helpline to assist consumers with claims. Call the Consumer Helpline at 1-800-342-2762 for all financial questions and requests.

Pensacola from the bay is our skyline for August.