Tallahassee, September 2, 2009—The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, today reacted to Governor Charlie Crist’s declaration of September, 2009 as “Florida Preparedness Month.” In recognition of the month, the state will partner with organizations to help educate the public about emergency preparedness.
“I commend Governor Charlie Crist for trying to raise public awareness regarding the dangers Florida faces, especially with regard to hurricanes, but more needs to be done,” says Christian Cámara , director of CEI’s Florida Insurance Project. “Unfortunately, his concern for preparedness must not have been foremost on his mind earlier this year when he decided to eliminate all funding from the My Safe Florida Home  program—the one government initiative that actually helped Floridians prepare their homes and fortify them against hurricanes.”
Enacted by the Legislature and Governor Crist’s predecessor in 2006, the My Safe Florida Home program was created to help families strengthen their homes against hurricanes by offering free home inspections and matching grant funds. During the past three years, the popular program provided free home inspections to over 400,000 families and helped retrofit over 33,000 homes. The program was allowed to expire in June after the Legislature chose to strip its funding per the governor’s budgetary request.
Cámara believes the governor and Legislature should reenact this program during next year’s regular session.
“Hurricane preparedness and mitigation are the only long-term solutions to Florida’s hurricane problem. Lives are saved, properties are saved, and people can get back to their lives more quickly after a storm. Instead of offering Floridians an artificial holiday that generates some media coverage and photo-ops, Governor Crist should reconsider his position on My Safe Florida Home and urge the Legislature to reenact it.”