Florida Department of Financial Services - Hurricane Idalia Update

MyFloridaCFO.com, August 29, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis and the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) provided new updates on Department activities regarding Hurricane Idalia.

On Monday the 28th, the CFO met with emergency response officials at the state EOC in Tallahassee, FL. He met with officials from DBPR, FDOT, T-Mobile, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS). The CFO also spoke with U.S. Senator Rick Scott. 

This morning, the CFO spoke with Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter and discussed insurance fraud and unscrupulous contractors.

The CFO urged residents to take videos of the inside of their homes should they need to file a claim, and urged residents with EVs, and other lithium-ion powered devices to relocate those items away from storm surge.

The Department’s Emergency Support Functions (ESF) 4 & 9 are active and operational at the Statewide Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Tallahassee. ESF 4 coordinates statewide firefighting. ESF 9 coordinates all statewide Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Task Force Operations.

All eight Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Teams have been activated. US&R Teams 1 (Miami-Dade County) and 2 (City of Miami) have been prepositioned to the Orange County Convention Center in preparation for deployments. Taskforces 3 (Hillsborough), 4 (Orlando), 5 (Northeast Florida), 6 (Southwest Florida), 7 (North Florida), and 8 (North Central Florida) are stationed in place within their communities to respond. Additionally, six federal teams based out of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee are being deployed to Florida. In total, there will be approximately 700 US&R personnel in theater. The State Fire Marshal’s Office will be scaling resources as needed to meet the rescue needs of the state. Numbers are an estimate of current needs.    

 The Department’s Division of Agent and Agency Services (A&A) has activated the state’s emergency adjuster system to allow licensed out-of-state adjusters to assist consumers in adjusting insurance claims following the storm.

The Department’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) has activated it’s Emergency Operations Center to coordinate insurance consumer protection and fraud prevention missions following the storm. Five teams are ready to support recovery operations and four Disaster Fraud Action Strike Teams (D-FAST) are activated and ready to conduct anti-fraud efforts post-storm. 

The Insurance Consumer Helpline will function from 8 AM to 4:30 PM beginning Friday. Consumers can file complaints 24-7 by visiting the Department’s website at https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers/needourhelp.

News article: https://myfloridacfo.com/news/pressreleases/press-release-details/2023/08/29/florida-department-of-financial-services---hurricane-idalia-update