Panhandle Hosting Fortify Florida Expo

September 22, 2006

Pensacola will host the second in a series of free homeowner expos that combine the expertise of businesses and not-for-profit agencies to show Floridians how to make their homes more hurricane-resistant.

“Fortify Florida: Pensacola Prepares!” is being co-hosted by Gulf Power Corporation, the Escambia County Commission and WEAR-TV. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Pensacola Civic Center, and will bring together more than 70 exhibitors providing information, services and products that support the CFO’s goal of hurricane-strengthening homes throughout the state.

“The Pensacola area knows firsthand the damaging effects of hurricane-force winds on our homes and our communities,” Gallagher said. “While many residents in the area have taken steps to make their homes more hurricane-resistant, Fortify Florida will highlight the valuable resources that are available to reduce damage and avoid loss. Our goals are safer families and swifter recovery should another hurricane hit this area.”

The Pensacola expo will also feature insurance company representatives who will be on hand to help homeowners understand the hurricane-resistance measures that will protect their homes, and how they can apply for discounts on their insurance premiums. By law, insurance companies are required to offer policyholders discounts on the wind-coverage portion of their homeowner policy premiums for specific measures that reduce their homes’ exposure to windstorm damage.

DFS staff will also be available to assist expo participants who want to apply for My Safe Florida Home free inspections. Cliff Long, DFS Consumer Outreach Coordinator said the organization is taking a proactive approach to storm damage prevention, especially in light of rising costs of insurance and reinsurance.

“Florida’s leadership is simply not satisfied with the all too common approach of being “reactive” to the various storms,” Long said. “This is why we have taken on the task of educating our insured citizens and further proving our commitment in the form of matching grants. The mitigation bill and MySafeFloridaHome initiative is just one step in many towards ensuring our future and standard of living.”

Residents who attend Saturday’s expo can participate in home improvement how-to clinics, learn about building products designed to strengthen homes and talk to insurance company representatives about how they can take advantage of premium discounts for hurricane hardening their homes. Local contractors, home improvement stores, banks, lenders, and credit counseling services will also be on hand to assist consumers. For more information, please contact Cliff Long at (850) 453-7800.

Source: Florida Department of Financial Services (

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