As Tropical Storm Zeta is predicted to strengthen and threaten the Florida Panhandle as early as Wednesday, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis urges Floridians to prepare immediately. For hurricane-related resources and information, visit CFO Patronis’ PrepareFL.com website that serves as a one-stop-shop for disaster preparedness information and tips to help Floridians ensure they are prepared.
“The 2020 Hurricane Season is not over, and I’m urging all Panhandle residents to monitor weather reports and prepare now for Tropical Storm Zeta. This storm has the potential to impact the Panhandle as soon as Wednesday, bringing possible heavy wind, rain, and flooding. Many Panhandle communities are still recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Sally and this week Tropical Zeta is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches the Gulf Coast. As we’ve seen in the past, storms can change course and strengthen quickly, leaving little to no time to prepare so now is the time to ensure your disaster plan is in place. Panhandle residents must monitor the latest weather reports and visit PrepareFL.com now for important disaster preparedness resources to ensure you can recover quickly. Don’t wait until landfall is imminent, it may be too late,” Patronis said on Monday.
Patronis offered the following Disaster Preparedness Tips:
- Conduct a home inventory. Compile a video home inventory by using your smartphone to walk through your home and narrate what is being recorded including value or replacement costs. Email it to yourself for easy retrieval later.
- Gather important financial documents. Collect all insurance, financial and other important financial documentation. In the frantic hours before a storm, it is easy to forget that the loss of important papers and documents can make recovering from a disaster more difficult. Take time now to gather your important insurance and financial documents and put them in a plastic bag or waterproof safety box for safe keeping.
- Understand the flood claims process. After the storm, it is important to know the flood claims process and report the loss to your insurance agent or your insurance company as soon as possible.
Visit PrepareFL.com for more information and to start your storm 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.