PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is coordinating search and rescue efforts ahead of Hurricane Irma's predicted path towards the Sunshine State.
On Tuesday, Patronis returned to Panama City after assisting with recovery efforts in Beaumont, Texas after Hurricane Harvey.
"It was good for me to see that first hand, but also it was healing that you also helped somebody get back on their feet," said Patronis.
Now there's a new challenge to face as Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida.
Patronis says the deployment in Texas is preparation for what could happen here.
"Our folks come back - having these real life experiences - this is a similar situation we saw in Beaumont and what we saw in Houston. So they're bringing their own skill-sets home to hone their own skills in order to make us more effective in saving our folks lives here in Florida," said Patronis.
On Thursday morning, Patronis says he joined a conference call to discuss where and how first responders would be deployed.
"As we're understanding what assets are available to these different parts of the state, they will be deployed and we will coordinate all of that," said Patronis.
The historic floods in Texas also resulted in residents losing everything.
Patronis urges Florida homeowners to keep copies of their insurance policies and take pictures of their homes.
"We will have insurance adjusters out in the field, to help you assess the damages and get your money back to you to start rebuilding your lives," said Patronis.
Patronis also urges residents to keep all insurance and banking information in one place.
To download and complete a free copy, visit http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/understandingCoverage/Guides/documents/EmergencyFinancialPreparednessToolkit.PDF
For anyone who may have questions about policy coverages or need help filing a claim, call Florida's Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
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