Jimmy Patronis: Panhandle Residents Need to Make Final Preparations for Tropical Storm Zeta

On Tuesday, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis urged residents in Florida’s Panhandle to make final preparations to homes and property ahead of the impacts of Tropical Storm Zeta.

Tropical Storm Zeta is set to impact the Panhandle with heavy rains, possible storm surge and flooding as early as Wednesday and forecasters are predicting that Zeta is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the Panhandle.

“As we’ve seen with recent devastating storms, hurricanes can intensify and change direction quickly. Now is the time to finish final storm preparations ahead of Tropical Storm Zeta and residents must heed all warnings from state and local officials. Do not take this storm lightly. Taking steps today, like gathering important insurance and financial documents and snapping photos of valuables for your home inventory, can make a major difference during recovery. After the storm passes, beware of the signs of post-storm fraud and call my Insurance Consumer Helpline immediately at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) for insurance claims assistance,” Patronis said on Tuesday.

The CFO’s office released the following Final Storm Preparation Tips and Reminders for Floridians:

  1. Never run a generator inside or too close to your home or garage.
  2. Use sandbags and plastic sheeting to ward off rising water.
  3. Take photos of items in your home to help make the recovery process easier.
  4. Gather all insurance, financial and other important documents and secure them in plastic bags.
  5. Secure outdoor objects, such as grills and lawn furniture, so that it cannot get displaced by high winds.

As tropical storm and hurricane warnings are issued throughout Florida, no new insurance policies will be written. Specific coverage amounts, total coverage limits, and deductible amounts are also locked in, per Florida law. Consumers are encouraged to review their current coverage to better understand their potential losses. If you have any questions leading up to and after the storm, please call the CFO’s Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) or visit MyFloridaCFO.com.


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