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CFO Announces “Fortify Florida” Expo in Panhandle

9/20/2006

CONTACT: Tami Torres or Jeff Takacs
(850) 413-2842

Pensacola Prepares! offers homeowners hurricane-strengthening help
 
Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today announced Pensacola as the site of the second in a series of free homeowner expos that bring together businesses and not-for-profit agencies to help Floridians learn ways to make their homes more hurricane-resistant.
 
"Fortify Florida: Pensacola Prepares!" is being co-hosted by Gulf Power Corporation, the Escambia County Commission and WEAR-TV. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Pensacola Civic Center. It will bring together more than 70 exhibitors providing information, services and products that support the CFO's goal of hurricane-strengthening homes throughout the state.
 
"The Pensacola area knows firsthand the damaging effects of hurricane-force winds on our homes and our communities," Gallagher said. "While many residents in the area have taken steps to make their homes more hurricane-resistant, Fortify Florida will highlight the valuable resources that are available to reduce damage and avoid loss. Our goals are safer families and swifter recovery should another hurricane hit this area."
 
Fortify Florida: Pensacola Prepares! will also feature insurance company representatives who 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 policyholders discounts on the wind-coverage portion of their homeowner policy premiums for specific measures that reduce their homes' exposure to windstorm damage.
 
Workshops will be held throughout the day to highlight methods and products homeowners can use to make their homes safer. All exhibits and workshops are free. Door prizes donated by several participating vendors will also be given away throughout the day to those in attendance.
 
"The support of Gulf Power, the Escambia County Commission and WEAR-TV reinforces how hurricane preparation and recovery is a community-wide effort," Gallagher said. "Their involvement and that of all residents is key to weathering hurricane season in Florida."  
 
Fortify Florida: Pensacola Prepares! 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. DFS staff will be available to assist expo participants who want to apply for My Safe Florida Home free inspections.
 
In addition to learning how they can apply for the My Safe Florida Home program, residents who attend the Fortify Florida: Escambia County Prepares! expo can participate in home improvement how-to clinics, learn about building products designed to strengthen homes and talk to insurance company representatives about how they can take advantage of premium discounts for hurricane hardening their homes.  Local contractors, home improvement stores, banks, lenders, and credit counseling services will also be on hand to assist consumers.  For more information, please contact Audrey Sumrall Brown at (850) 413-2429.
 
"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 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.