Are you ready for Hurricane Season?

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Are you ready for Hurricane Season?

by | Jun 7, 2017

Growing up in Florida for most of my life, I’ve lived through some scary hurricanes over the years.  My family referred to them back then as “HER’ a-cans” but these days we can also call them “HIM’a-cans” since we also use the male gender for named storms.   Knowing what we Floridians experienced in 2016 with Hurricane Matthew and last year with Hurricane Irma, it was a wake- up call that we should take hurricane season seriously.  June 1 is the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Florida’s 10-year hurricane-free streak was broken as Hurricane Hermine made landfall in 2016 near the coast of St. Marks.   Not long after, Hurricane Matthew made landfall over Haiti as a Category 4 hurricane, soon taking a three-day jaunt up Florida’s east coast and into Georgia and the Carolinas, causing damage that according to the State’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, “exceeded $729 million generated by 112,000 insurance claims. In total, Floridians last year filed nearly 130,000 insurance claims totaling roughly $800 million in losses. The question now is: If a storm were to reach Florida’s shores next week, would you be prepared?”
Mr. Atwater provides some very practical reminders and tips: “Last year’s hurricane season affected a large majority of our state, leaving many of us with wind-damaged property, flooded homes and one big headache. As some of us learned, sandbags and boarded windows will only get you so far. Experts are predicting that the United States should prepare for another active season with an estimated 11-14 named storms and four to seven hurricanes, with two to three of those storms growing to category 3 or higher. But remember, it only takes one.

With the start of the 2017 Hurricane Season quickly approaching, it is up to you to make sure your emergency preparedness efforts reach beyond bottled water and batteries and include being financially prepared for a hurricane event. I encourage all Floridians to start putting together an insurance and financial packet that you can easily take with you should you need to leave your home in a hurry. Be sure to include documentation associated with property and health insurance policies as well as financial account information and contact information for banks and insurance companies. Having these documents put together ahead of time allows you to have ready access to all of the information necessary to file an insurance claim during an emergency evacuation.

If you need a hand getting your insurance-related preparation underway — no problem. My Florida CFO has created a simple, easy-to-use financial preparedness toolkit to assist with this process. This toolkit provides a single place to jot down and keep track of all of your insurance information. In the event that a storm directly affects you and your family, this toolkit can help you keep a list of adjuster contacts, emergency service contacts such as the Red Cross, FEMA and the Department’s consumer helpline, as well as a log of any calls you’ve made to insurance companies or agents about claims you may have to file.

This toolkit can be downloaded in ENGLISH, SPANISH and CREOLE and serves as an essential tool to supplement your preparation efforts. To learn more, please visit the following website for additional tips and tools at”

It will be wise for us all to reexamine our preparation materials and ensure you and your family will be financially prepared for this year’s hurricane season.

Links are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.


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