Department of Business and Professional Regulation Urges Licensees and Consumers to Prepare for Hurricane Season
May 28, 2010
TALLAHASSEE—Tuesday marks the beginning of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation urges businesses, professionals and consumers across Florida to create disaster preparedness plans by visiting FloridaDisaster.org.
“This hurricane season, I encourage all of our licensees and Floridians to develop disaster plans,” said Interim Secretary Charlie Liem. “Preparing now will enable you to better protect your family, your home and your livelihood.”
DBPR recommends businesses take the following actions to prepare for this hurricane season:
- Retrieve all important business records and store them in a watertight container in a safe place.
- Expect no cell or telephone communications immediately following a storm.
- Establish essential staff for post-storm recovery and have predetermined locations for employees to meet when conditions permit.
- Prepare a photo or video inventory of assets and store it in a safe location.
- Ensure that your insurance policy payment is up-to-date.
- Maintain detailed expenses for disaster recovery for possible reimbursement from FEMA.
- Have cash on-hand, as banking may be unavailable for several days.
Florida consumers should also be aware that hurricane season can bring increased unlicensed contracting. Remember to check your contractor’s license at MyFloridaLicense.com and report unlicensed activity by calling 1-866-532-1440. Any person who acts as an unlicensed contractor during a state of emergency declared by executive order of the Governor is committing a third degree felony.
Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves against unlicensed activity:
- Always ask to see the State of Florida license.
- Note the license number and verify that the license is current and in good standing. To check a license, call 850-487-1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask for references and check each one.
- Do not pay cash and be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
- Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
The department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.