DBPR Encourages Preparation for 2012 Hurricane Season
June 1, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today reminded businesses, professionals and consumers across Florida to develop disaster preparedness plans as the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts. Additionally, the Department stressed the importance of hiring only licensed professionals for any post-storm clean-up, including roof and window repairs, and encouraged consumers to avoid unlicensed scam artists who may strike after a storm.
"Planning in advance is critical to protecting your home, family and business during a natural disaster," said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. "By taking the necessary precautions in advance and avoiding unlicensed activity after a disaster, Floridians may be able to better protect themselves when a storm or other natural disaster hits."
More information on developing a disaster plan for businesses and how to identify unlicensed activity after a storm is on the Department’s online hurricane guide. DBPR also recommends that businesses create disaster plans at www.FloridaDisaster.org/business/ and specifically 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.
- 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.
After a storm or natural disaster strikes, unlicensed activity may increase as clean-up begins. Consumers should always ask to see the State of Florida professional license, which can be verified online at www.myfloridalicense.com or by calling 850-487-1395. Consumers should also avoid paying cash or writing checks to an individual, especially when the work is being done through a company.
If unlicensed activity is suspected, consumers should call 1-866-532-1440 or email ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us to report it. Any person who acts as an unlicensed contractor during a state of emergency as declared by executive order of the Governor is committing a third-degree felony.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and certified public accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.