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CFO Gallagher Announces “Fortify Florida” Expo

8/23/2006

CONTACT: Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842 

Tampa Bay Prepares! Is First Stop for Hurricane Home-Hardening Help
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today announced a free homeowner expo in St. Petersburg this Saturday to help Floridians learn ways to make their homes more hurricane-resistant.
 
 The first expo, themed "Fortify Florida: Tampa Bay Prepares!" will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, at the St. Petersburg Coliseum. It will bring together more than 50 exhibitors providing information, services and products that support the CFO's goal of hurricane-strengthening homes throughout the state.
 
"Our state's best defense against the damaging results of hurricanes starts at home, with reinforced doors, windows and roofs that protect families and property," Gallagher said. "We know that homes built or reinforced with these proven resources mean families will be safer, homes will suffer less damage from hurricanes and communities will recover more quickly."
 
At the Fortify Florida: Tampa Bay Prepares! expo, insurance company representatives will be on hand to help homeowners understand which hurricane-resistance measures will protect their homes, and how they can apply for discounts on their insurance premiums. By law, insurance companies are required to offer policy holders discounts on the wind-coverage portion of their homeowners policies for specific measures that reduce their homes' exposure to windstorm damage.
 
The event is being held in conjunction with the My Safe Florida Home program, a program administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) to protect Floridians and assist them in making their homes safer against hurricanes. Department staff will be available to assist expo participants who want to apply for a free home inspection through the My Safe Florida Home Program.
 
"The My Safe Florida Home Program is open for business and accepting applications for free home inspections," Gallagher said. "We have the financial capacity to serve as many as 50,000 Floridians over the next year, and with the Legislature's continued funding, we look forward to providing free inspections and matching grants to all Floridians."
 
Residents who attend the Fortify Florida: Tampa Bay Prepares! expo can participate in home improvement how-to clinics, visit displays of available building materials to strengthen homes and talk to insurance company representatives about how homeowners can take advantage of premium discounts.
 
Future Fortify Florida expos are tentatively scheduled for the Pensacola region on Saturday, Sept. 30, and the Palm Beach County region on Saturday, Oct. 14.  For more information, visit us at www.mysafefloridahome.com.