Volume 3 Number 37
September 11, 2006

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Interest in the My Safe Florida Home program has been tremendous! Over 42,000 completed applications have been received for free home inspections from Floridians throughout the state who want to strengthen their homes against the devastating effects of hurricanes. The need to create a culture of preparedness in Florida continues, and the My Safe Florida Home program is a significant step towards that goal.

The goal of completing 12,000 inspections within the first 12 twelve weeks of the program is on track. The program, through its partnership with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), has held two training sessions for inspectors who are interested in working with the program. Inspections in the pilot project counties, which include Miami-Dade, Broward and Lee counties, are being scheduled. As the inspector workforce grows with qualified, drug-tested inspectors who have undergone background checks, the My Safe Florida Home program will expand into other hurricane-vulnerable areas throughout Florida. The program will also cap the number of inspections that can be performed in each county based on the county’s population, in order to prevent a handful of counties from receiving the majority of the free home inspections.

On September 13, contractors who perform retrofit work improvements will be able to apply to participate in the My Safe Florida Home program, through the website, www.mysafefloridahome.com. Prior to participating, contractors must have a valid contractor’s license and complete a four-hour course on techniques and standards for effective wind-resistant retrofit improvements. The Department of Financial Services has been working with FLASH to offer these courses around the state over the next few months. The class, which is approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for four continuing education credits, was first conducted on August 29th in St. Petersburg.

To learn more about the My Safe Florida Home program, please visit www.mysafefloridahome.com. The website continues to be the best resource for up-to-date information about the program, and homeowners can also learn about a wide variety of topics including tips on hiring a contractor and ways homeowners can strengthen their homes from the possibility of storm damage.