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Fortify Florida to Show Homeowners How to Hurricane-harden Their Homes


Tami Torres or Jeff Takacs
(850) 413-2842
Pensacola Prepares! to feature free hurricane home improvement workshops
TALLAHASSEE – Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today released an agenda for "Fortify Florida: Pensacola Prepares!" that offers homeowners several opportunities to learn ways they can hurricane-harden their homes and find out if they are eligible for reduced insurance rates.
The event, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, at the Pensacola Civic Center, is free to the public. It features more than 50 exhibitors and eight workshops to help homeowners learn about construction measures that make homes safer against hurricanes, and for which they may be eligible for insurance premium discounts. 
"We want Panhandle residents to arrive with questions and leave with answers about how their homes can be safer against hurricanes," said Gallagher, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services. "This expo brings together under one roof the experts and resources Floridians need to take charge of their hurricane home safety."
"Fortify Florida" expos are being coordinated as a partnership of the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Office of Insurance Regulation and the Executive Office of the Governor. The Pensacola Prepares! event is being co-hosted by Gulf Power Corporation, the Escambia County Commission and WEAR-TV.
Attendees can also apply for the new My Safe Florida Home program administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) to protect Floridians and assist them in making their homes safer against hurricanes. DFS staff will be available to assist expo participants who want to apply for My Safe Florida Home free inspections. In addition, many vendors have donated items related to hurricane safety and home improvement, including NOAA weather radios, emergency kits, hurricane preparation items and gift certificates. 
In addition to presentations about the My Safe Florida Home program, workshops will be conducted on ways to improve your home's hurricane safety by the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE), Gulf Power Corporation, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the American Red Cross, the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), the Wayne-Dalton Corporation and Home Depot.
 Representatives for several insurance companies will also be on hand to talk to their policyholders and determine whether they are eligible for premium discounts available for specific construction measures shown to reduce hurricane damage.
The third "Fortify Florida" expo is scheduled for Palm Beach County on Saturday, October 14, at the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University. For more information on these events and to learn the steps you can take to make your home more hurricane-resistant, visit the My Safe Florida Home website at
An  agenda of the event workshops follows.

FORTIFY FLORIDA Pensacola Prepares!
Is your home hurricane-ready?
10 a.m. - 4 p.m., September 30, 2006
Pensacola Civic Center
10:30 a.m.  Welcome and Acknowledgements – Main Stage
Master of Ceremonies – Sue Straughn, ABC WEAR-TV3 Anchor
John Hutchinson, General Manager of Public Affairs, Gulf Power
The Honorable Bill Dickson, Escambia County Commission, Vice-Chair 
The Honorable Dave Murzin, Florida House of Representatives
The Honorable Holly Benson, Florida House of Representatives
The Honorable Don Brown, Florida House of Representatives
11:00 a.m. "My Safe Florida Home" – Main Stage
Lisa Miller, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Department of Financial Services
11:30 a.m. "The Relevance of BRACE in the Community" – Breakout Room
Jackie Bell, Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE)
12:00 p.m. "Harden Your Home to Receive Premium Discounts" – Breakout Room
Deborah Gresko, Citizens Property Insurance Company
12:30 p.m. "Pre- & Post-Storm Safety Mitigation Techniques" – Breakout Room
Carl Jackson, Gulf Power
1:00 p.m.  "Windstorm Damage Prevention (Mitigation)" -- Breakout Room
George Rogers, Institute for Food & Agricultural Science (IFAS) of the University of Florida
1:30 p.m. "Protecting Your Homes Openings" – Breakout Room
Greg Galloway, Wayne-Dalton Corp.
2:30 p.m. "Hurricane Protection: How to Ready Your Home" -- Breakout Room
Norm Thomas, Home Depot 
3:30 p.m. "Together We Prepare Initiative" – Breakout Room
  Carla Gilmore, American Red Cross
4:00 p.m. Adjourn        
*Beginning at 11:00 a.m., door prizes will be awarded every half hour from the Main Stage. You must be present to win.