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CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights Urban Search & Rescue Teams, Importance of Hurricane Prep in Orlando

6/17/2021

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 17, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights Urban Search & Rescue Teams, Importance of Hurricane Prep in Orlando
 
ORLANDO, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis was joined by members of the Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Florida Task Force 4 to urge Floridians to prepare for disasters now before the next hurricane takes aim at Florida. There are a total of eight US&R teams statewide that are immediately deployed to aid communities that have been impacted by a natural or man-made disaster. Experts recently predicted an above-normal 2021 Hurricane Season with the possibility of three to five major hurricanes. Additionally, the CFO is actively monitoring a tropical system that has the potential to develop into a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico that will likely bring heavy rain and possible flooding to the Florida Panhandle.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "I am extremely grateful to the dedicated men and women of the US&R Task Force 4, who train year-round to protect Floridians when a disaster strikes. This dedicated team of first responders run towards a storm to save families in the aftermath of a hurricane. This year looks to be another busy storm season, with a system currently out in the Gulf right now that could organize into a tropical storm tonight or tomorrow as it moves north and brings significant rain, and likely flooding to parts of the Panhandle. It is critical that residents heed all warnings from local authorities and take the proper precautions to stay safe before, during, and after a storm. As we’ve seen in the past, hurricanes can form and strengthen quickly, leaving little time to prepare and evacuate. Visit PrepareFL.com for hurricane and disaster related information and resources before the next storm takes aim at Florida.”
 
Representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff said, “There is no excuse for not preparing for hurricane season. Each year, it is vital to make the necessary arrangements to protect your property and loved ones. Members of the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force team are among the first on the ground following a storm and bring lifesaving equipment to our communities, and it was an honor to recognize them along with CFO Patronis today in Orlando. We should all be grateful for their service and dedication to help Florida recover.”
 
Representative David Smith said, “It was an honor to join CFO Patronis and our first responders today in Orlando to offer a very important message to Floridians to prepare now for hurricane season. Living in Florida, we have seen time after time the damage that hurricanes can cause to our state and it is critical to be prepared. A huge thank you to our dedicated first responders who work every day to protect us and stand ready to assist following a disaster.” 
 
Orlando Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale said, “A huge thank you to CFO Patronis for coming to the Orlando Emergency Operations Center today to highlight the importance of preparing for the 2021 hurricane season. As Floridians, we know that storms can develop quickly and our dedicated first responders are boots on the ground when a storm hits. Thank you to the CFO for highlighting these brave men and women and recognizing the importance of hurricane preparedness.” 
 
Orlando Fire District Chief Spencer Bashinski said, “On behalf of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 4, we would like to thank CFO Patronis for coming out today to highlight the importance of preparing for disasters. Our dedicated team works year-round to ensure we are prepared to respond immediately after a disaster takes place, and we appreciate the CFO highlighting our efforts and encouraging Floridians to prepare now for hurricane season.”
 
Undersheriff Mark Canty of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said, “Hurricanes can become a threat at a moment’s notice and waiting until a storm is approaching is too late to start preparing. Every Floridian needs to take hurricane season seriously and stock up on essential supplies. The Task Force team and our dedicated first responders are vital in Florida’s recovery efforts, and I appreciate CFO Patronis’ commitment to ensuring all Floridians are prepared.”
 
Seminole County Fire Department Chief Otto Drozd III said, “CFO Patronis sent a clear message today that preparing for hurricane season is critical. Experts are predicting an above-average storm season, so the time to prepare is now. A huge thank you to our dedicated first responders for braving the most challenging of conditions to keep Floridians safe and to CFO Patronis for highlighting their life-saving efforts.”
 
Visit PrepareFL.com for more information and to start your disaster plan today. CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline is available to assist Floridians with insurance issues and the claims process. Call the toll-free helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236), to talk to a knowledgeable insurance specialist Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).