Prepare Your Tax Documents & Homes for this Hurricane Season

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane season is coming and in Florida it is wise to be prepared. Your tax documents are very important and not easy to reproduce if needed. It is a good idea to establish backup records. This backup should be stored in a safe place separate from the original documents. It is helpful to have a backup electronic copy. Even if you have paper tax returns you can scan them and put them onto a digital storage device such as a thumb-drive or a DVD.

If a disaster does strike and affects your tax records, you can call 1-866-562-5227 to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster related problems.

Here is an article by Jeff Atwater discussing general home preparations for hurricane season: 

"Baseball and hurricane preparedness have a lot in common: you have to cover all your bases to succeed. As Floridians, we all need to be prepared for hurricane season. National Hurricane Preparedness Week ends Saturday, so this is a great time to ensure we've covered all our bases — insure, secure and prepare to recover.

Protecting your home base isn't just about hardening your home physically. It is just as important to prepare financially. The top three reasons homeowners strike out when it comes to insurance claims are insufficient documentation, lack of adequate insurance coverage, and failure to retain proof of damage.

With hurricane preparedness, you make it to first base by ensuring you have adequate coverage for your property. Tagging second base means securing important documents, and rounding third base is having the ability to recover after a storm. Taking all of these steps will help you protect your home base.

My Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services' website,, offers videos, brochures, resources and tips, along with a Disaster Preparedness section that includes a home inventory checklist. Should a tropical storm or hurricane take aim at our state, we will activate a special consumer helpline, 1-800-22-STORM, to assist victims with insurance matters.

Many quick and confusing decisions must be made in the aftermath of a disaster. Remember to ensure the company or individual you are considering dealing with is licensed in Florida, never make advance payments and never pay in full until the work is complete. Score a home run this hurricane season."