A July 13  release from the Department of Financial Services

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced July 13 that over the next two weekends the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program will be signing up eligible homeowners for free wind inspections at the Florida Association of Insurance Agents' (FAIA) Hardening Your Home Against Hurricanes: A Trusted Choice Safe Living Expos.  Ms. Sink also reitereated details of the inspection program.

The Hardening Your Home Against Hurricanes Expos will be held in nine Florida cities over the next two weekends (July 14 and July 21) from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.  The MSFH program will be joining representatives from FAIA, FLASH, the National Weather Service and County Emergency Management at local Home Depot stores to promote the
importance of mitigation and hurricane safety.

On Saturday, July 14, 2007, homeowners can sign up for their free wind inspection at select Home Depot stores in Tallahassee, Pensacola, Miami, Daytona, and Winter Park.  The following Saturday, July 21, 2007, select
Home Depot stores in St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Boynton Beach, and Davie will be sponsoring the hurricane expos.

As CFO, Sink oversees the state's MSFH program, which helps Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes and reduces the overall potential for hurricane damage in our state. The MSFH program offers eligible homeowners a free wind inspection by trained and qualified hurricane mitigation inspectors. Homeowners who have received these
inspections and meet additional criteria set by the Legislature may also have the opportunity to apply for a matching grant of up to $5,000 to make recommended improvements.

In order to be eligible for the program's matching grant reimbursements of up to $5,000, the 2007 Legislature requires that homeowners meet the following requirements: have received a completed wind inspection after May 1, 2007; live in a single-family, site-built home with a building permit issued before March 1, 2002; have a valid homestead exemption;
have an insured value of $300,000 or less; and be located in the wind-borne debris region.  Additionally, while the free wind inspections will still cover seven potential wind-resistance improvements, matching grants may only be used for opening protections, including windows, exterior doors and garage doors, as well as the bracing of gable ends.

The MSFH program expanded statewide this spring after a pilot program the previous year and has performed more than 55,000 free wind inspections since April 23, 2007.  More than 5,800 homeowners statewide are currently working with the MSFH program to harden their homes and will receive their matching grants upon the completion of their
recommended improvements.  Statewide, the program has issued nearly $1.2 million in grants to 413 homeowners who have completed the improvements recommended in their inspection reports.