My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

More than ten years have passed since Florida faced a major hurricane, but as the 2016 hurricane season approaches, I encourage all Floridians to dust off their family’s hurricane plans and prepare for the possibility that a storm could hit Florida’s shores.Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit

This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week, and there’s no better time than now to make sure your family — and your property — are ready. While bottled water and batteries may be the first preparatory items you think of, I urge you to add to your list and include a few more items that can make getting back to normal after a storm easier.

Managing home repairs while evacuated or without power is never easy, but taking a few steps ahead of the storm can make a world of difference. That's why I encourage all Floridians to use this week to put together an insurance and financial packet that you keep in a safe place and can easily take with you should you need to leave your home in a hurry.

This packet should include documentation associated with property and health insurance policies as well as financial account information and contact information for banks and insurance companies. Having these documents put together ahead of time allows you to have ready access to all of the information necessary to file an insurance claim, whatever your situation may be.

If you have questions, or simply don’t know where to begin, we’ve created a simple, easy-to-use financial preparedness toolkit. This toolkit provides a single place to jot down and keep track of all of your insurance information. In the event that a storm directly affects you and your family, this toolkit can help you keep a list of adjuster contacts, as well as a log of any calls you’ve made to insurance companies or agents about claims you may have to file.

In the aftermath of a hurricane or other emergency, you shouldn’t have to worry about searching for account information or trying to remember the details of all your possessions. Luckily, emergency financial documents are among the easiest things to prepare, ensuring you have everything you need readily available.

To download a copy of the toolkit and to learn more about other resources we make available to help you become disaster ready, visit


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Gene Anderson, Ph.D.University of Miami’s New Florida 50 Index

Gene Anderson, Ph.D., guest authored a column in our latest edition of Florida's Bottom Line that discusses a new way to measure Florida's economy. Here is an excerpt:

The University of Miami School of Business Administration has come up with a new way to measure the state of Florida’s economy. We have established a new custom S&P Dow Jones stock market index that measures the performance of publicly traded companies across the state. The University of Miami’s Florida 50 Index (, which is based on the capitalizations of about 50 Florida-based large-, mid- and small-cap companies included in the S&P 1500, is the first custom S&P Dow Jones index to be owned by a university.

It differs from other U.S. stock market indices because of its diverse constituency and weighting methodology. Since the National Bureau of Economic Research has classified common stocks as a leading indicator of business cycles, we feel the University of Miami’s Florida 50 Index can be an effective representation of the stock market and a bellwether for the Florida economy.

Read more from Dr. Anderson in the spring edition of Florida's Bottom Line.

As a one-stop shop for the latest news and valuable insight on Florida's economic and financial health, Florida's Bottom Line is CFO Atwater's award-winning, in-depth quarterly economic newsletter. The accompanying Florida's Bottom Line website will keep you updated with the latest statistics on Florida's economy. Special reports, infographics and past editions are archived on the website for easy access.

Women Veterans’ Conference Will Be in St. Augustine

Every year, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs hosts an annual statewide women veterans' outreach conference for all female veterans residing in Florida.

This year, the third annual conference will be held on June 15 and June 16 at the First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine. This free event is open to all women who have served or are currently serving in the military.Women Veterans Conference

The two-day event includes opportunities to network, special speakers, information and outreach booths, and more, to help understand women's health and the benefits that are available to them, as well as employment and career opportunities.

There is no charge for the event, but those planning to attend are asked to register. Registration is open now through Monday, June 6, 2016.

For more information, contact FDVA’s Woman Veteran Claims Examiner, Cynthia Vaughn, at (727) 319-7407 or email

Florida Economic Briefs

Record number of tourists visited Florida in first quarter 2016
A record 29.8 million tourists visited Florida in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 4.8 percent over the first quarter of last year. According to Visit Florida, an estimated 2.7 million tourists were from overseas and 1.6 million were from Canada. Tourism-related jobs also increased to 1.23 million, up 3.8 percent over the year.
Source: Visit Florida

Small business optimism increases in April
Small business optimism increased last month according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. Of the ten components that make up the index, five of them increased over the month, one decreased, and four remained unchanged.
Source: National Federation of Independent Business