Florida CFO Accompanies President, Governor to Tour Storm-Damaged Sunshine State

September 8, 2004

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher accompanied President George W. Bush and Governor Jeb Bush on a tour of storm-affected areas along the east coast Wednesday.

Gov. Bush and Gallagher also visited the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center to meet with disaster response officials. Gallagher, who on Tuesday deployed the Department of Financial Services’ Mobile Response Unit to Ft. Pierce, also dispatched additional staff to more than 20 disaster recovery sites statewide.

“We’re now dealing with a statewide recovery effort,” Gallagher said. “It’s my job to make sure Florida’s insurance consumers are treated fairly and are met by an adjuster as quickly as possible, so they can start on the road to recovery.”

“The president’s support and encouragement to storm victims, emergency responders, and relief and recovery volunteers is greatly appreciated,” Gallagher said. “Even though our recent storms have brought terrible hardship, it’s inspiring to see federal, state and local organizations and neighbors helping neighbors, to rebuild our homes and communities.”

After touring many of the areas affected by Hurricane Frances, Gallagher deployed the Mobile Response Unit (MRU) to assist Floridians in filing insurance claims and quickly resolving insurance problems.

The MRU remains deployed at the Furniture Mart Shopping Center (Old Ft. Pierce Outlet Mall) at 2817 Peters Rd. in Ft. Pierce. The site is accessible from Exit 152, Okeechobee Rd., of the Florida Turnpike or Exit 129 of I-95.

Available on the mobile unit are satellite and cellular phones, computers and other information resources to allow staff to assist victims immediately, in their communities. The unit will also help insurance agents and adjusters locate policyholders. Co-locating at the site are representatives from the following insurance companies: Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Allstate, American Strategic, Florida Select, Metropolitan Property and Casualty, State Farm, First Floridian, Nationwide, Amica and Liberty Mutual.

Additional sites with insurance consumer specialists available are:

* Harold Recreation Center, 23400 Harold Avenue, Port Charlotte
* Nicor Building, 1602 Goldenrod Rd., Orlando
* Martin County Fair Grounds, 2616 SE Dixie Hwy., Stuart
* Palm Beach Gardens Community Center, 4404 Burns Rd., Palm Beach Gardens.

The department will soon begin airing radio PSAs directing storm victims to a disaster recovery site or the toll-free hotline.

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