Volume 3 Number 40
October 2, 2006

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Pensacola Prepares! featured free hurricane home improvement workshops

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher released an agenda for “Fortify Florida: Pensacola Prepares!” that offered homeowners several opportunities to learn ways to hurricane-harden their homes and find out if they are eligible for reduced insurance rates.

The event was free to the public and featured more than 50 exhibitors and eight workshops to help homeowners learn about construction measures that make homes safer against hurricanes, and for which they may be eligible for insurance premium discounts.   

“We wanted Panhandle residents to arrive with questions and leave with answers about how their homes can be safer against hurricanes, and they did,” said Gallagher, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services. “These expos bring together the experts and resources Floridians need to take charge of their hurricane home safety.”

“Fortify Florida” expos are being coordinated as a partnership of the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Office of Insurance Regulation and the Executive Office of the Governor. The Pensacola Prepares! event was co-hosted by Gulf Power Corporation, the Escambia County Commission and WEAR-TV.

Attendees also applied for the new My Safe Florida Home program administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) to protect Floridians and assist them in making their homes safer against hurricanes. DFS staff were available to assist expo participants who applied for My Safe Florida Home free inspections. In addition, many vendors donated items related to hurricane safety and home improvement, including NOAA weather radios, emergency kits, hurricane preparation items and gift certificates.

In addition to presentations about the My Safe Florida Home program, workshops were conducted on ways to improve your home’s hurricane safety by the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE), Gulf Power Corporation, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the American Red Cross, the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), the Wayne-Dalton Corporation and Home Depot.

Representatives for several insurance companies were on hand to talk to their policyholders and determine whether they are eligible for premium discounts available for specific construction measures shown to reduce hurricane damage.

The third “Fortify Florida” expo is scheduled for Palm Beach County on Saturday, October 14, at the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University. For more information on these events and to learn the steps you can take to make your home more hurricane-resistant, visit the My Safe Florida Home website at www.mysafefloridahome.com.