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Gallagher Announces Update to Hurricane Recovery Efforts

7/13/2005

CONTACT:
Bob Lotane or Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE-Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced today that the Department of Financial Services will be establishing a second mobile response unit in Destin and will also be located in four disaster recovery centers being operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
 
"We will have personnel in the area for as long as it takes to help residents get back on their feet," said Gallagher, who oversees the department and also serves as State Fire Marshal.
 
Gallagher opened the department's first mobile response unit in Milton at the Gateway Plaza, located at 6588 Caroline St.  The second mobile unit will be open today at the Home Depot, 4385 Commons Drive, in Destin. The mobile units will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 
Department consumer service specialists also will be available at FEMA disaster recovery centers located at the AFO Annex, 33 Brent Lane, Pensacola; the Agriculture Building, 6001-A Industrial Blvd, Century; Jay Community Center, 5259 Booker Lane, Jay; and South Santa Rosa Service  Center, 5841 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze.
 
The State Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for mobilizing search and rescue efforts from the state Emergency Operations Center during an emergency.  Gallagher, in his role as State Fire Marshal, dispatched members of the department's two law enforcement divisions to assist in search and rescue efforts in areas devastated by Hurricane Dennis.  Many of those operations are continuing.
 
Floridians needing assistance with hurricane recovery can get help by calling 1-800-22-STORM or by going to www.fldfs.com
Gallagher said mediation centers set up in the wake of last year's hurricanes are still open and can help Floridians having trouble settling claims with their insurance companies.

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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal.