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**PHOTO & VIDEO RELEASE B-ROLL** CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights Urban Search & Rescue Teams, Importance of Hurricane Prep in Fort Myers

6/18/2021

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis was joined by members of the Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Florida Task Force 6 to urge Floridians to prepare for disasters now before the next hurricane takes aim at Florida. There are a total of eight US&R teams statewide that are immediately deployed to aid communities that have been impacted by a natural or man-made disaster. Additionally, experts have predicted an above-normal 2021 Hurricane Season with the possibility of three to five major hurricanes.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "I am extremely grateful to the dedicated men and women of the US&R Task Force 6, who train year-round to protect Floridians when a disaster strikes. This dedicated team of first responders run towards a storm to save families in the aftermath of a hurricane. This year looks to be another busy storm season, and it is critical that you begin your preparations now, so these men and women do not have to come in and save you. As we’ve seen in the past, hurricanes can form and strengthen quickly, leaving little time to prepare and evacuate. Visit PrepareFL.com for hurricane and disaster related information and resources before the next storm takes aim at Florida.”

Representative Kaylee Tuck said, “Floridians know all too well what it’s like to rebuild after a hurricane. There is no time to waste when it comes to ensuring you and your family are ready if Florida finds itself in a storm’s path. I do know that if we are hit with a storm this year, CFO Patronis will be boots on the ground helping our communities recover. I appreciate his commitment to encourage Floridians to prepare for the storm season, as well as the exceptional members of the US&R Task Force who risk their lives to help their fellow Floridians.”

Rep Adam Botana said, “It is critical that Florida families prepare for the hurricane season now, and not wait until it is too late. Not having the proper supplies can make the impact of severe weather even worse. I appreciate CFO Patronis’ commitment to urge Floridians to take this Hurricane Season seriously as well as highlighting the dedication of the members of the US&R Task Force put themselves in harms way to save others.”

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said, “With hurricane season in full effect, it is critical to make sure your family is prepared in the event of a storm. Make sure that your home, valuables and important documents are secured. I applaud the commitment of our teams for braving the most challenging of conditions to keep our communities safe. Thank you to CFO Patronis for helping us spread the word and get Floridians prepared for the season.”

USAR Team 6 Program Manager Shane Sibert said, “Preparation is key when it comes to ensuring the safety of your home and family during hurricane season. Having the supplies on hand and following alerts of local emergency professionals could save your life. Without a doubt, we are grateful for the skill and expertise of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 6 who run towards danger to provide life-saving resources. A huge thank you to CFO Patronis for recognizing our first responders today and bringing awareness to the importance of hurricane season preparedness.”

San Carlos Park Fire Protection & Rescue Service District Division Chief Glen VanBrunt said, “We know from experience the devastating impact a hurricane can have on our communities, which is why it is so important to prepare before a storm comes. Thank you to the members of the US&R Task Force team for staying ready to help our communities when they need it most and to CFO Patronis for highlighting the importance of preparing for hurricane season.”

Visit PrepareFL.com for more information and to start your disaster plan today. CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline is available to assist Floridians with insurance issues and the claims process. Call the toll-free helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236), to talk to a knowledgeable insurance specialist Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis  Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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