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Fortify Florida to Show Homeowners How to Hurricane-harden Their Homes

10/12/2006

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

Palm Beach Prepares! to feature free hurricane home improvement workshops
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today released an agenda for "Fortify Florida: Palm Beach Prepares!" that offers homeowners several opportunities to learn ways they can hurricane-harden their homes and find out if they are eligible for reduced insurance rates.
 
The event, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, at the Florida Atlantic University Arena in Boca Raton, is free to the public. It features more than 50 exhibitors and 11 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 want Florida residents to arrive with questions and leave with answers about how their homes can be safer against hurricanes," said Gallagher, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services. "This expo brings together under one roof 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 Palm Beach Prepares! event is being co-hosted by Florida Atlantic University and Florida Power & Light.
 
Attendees can also apply 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 will be available to assist expo participants who want to apply for My Safe Florida Home free inspections. In addition, many vendors have 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 will be conducted on ways to improve your home's hurricane safety, detailed in the following agenda.
 
 Representatives for several insurance companies will also be 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.
 
For more information on this event 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.
An agenda of the event workshops follows.

FORTIFY FLORIDA – PALM BEACH PREPARES!
Main Stage
10:30 a.m.   Welcome and Acknowledgements
The Honorable Steven Abrams, Mayor of Boca Raton
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, State of Florida
The Honorable Clay Shaw, United States House of Representatives
The Honorable Mike Arts, Boca Raton City Councilmember
The Honorable Adam Hasner, Florida House of Representatives
The Honorable Anne Gannon, Florida House of Representatives
Florida Atlantic University (FAU)
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL)
Workshops – Breakout Room
 
11:00 a.m.  "1st Anniversary of Hurricane Wilma"
   Chuck Tear, Director of Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management
 
11:20 a.m. "Hurricanes"
Steve Weagle, Chief Meteorologist, WPTV Channel 5 
     
11:40 a.m.  "Selecting a Licensed Contractor"
Kristen Ploska, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
 
12:00 p.m. "City Permit Approval Process for Mitigation"
Mike Berkman, Chief Code Administrator, City of Boca Raton Building Code Administration
 
12:30 p.m. "Condominium Ombudsman Program"
Bill and Susan Raphan, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
 
1:00 p.m. "Fortifying Your Home Against Hurricane Damage"
Dr. Bob Stroh, Director, Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing, University of Florida
 
1:30 p.m. "Precautions About Mold in the Home"
Don Smith, Environmental Specialist, Palm Beach County Health Department
 
2:00 p.m. "Over the Roof Protection" 
Michael Murray and Meridith Anzulis, Storm Watch
 
2:30 p.m. "Hurricane Shutters" 
Nicole Sibers and David Comisar, Harbor Home Improvements
 
3:00 p.m. "Hardening the Electric Infrastructure" 
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL)
 
3:30 p.m. "How to Deal with a Mold Insurance Claim"
Holly Bailey, Building Environmental Consultants, Inc.
 
**The Home Depot will offer how-to demonstrations at their booth throughout the day.
*Beginning at 11:00 a.m., door prizes will be awarded every half hour on the hour.
   You must be present to win.