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WASTE WATCH: A Florida catastrophe fund has record cash reserve for now

FLORIDA   --  A state catastrophe fund has the best cash reserve in the 20 years since it was created but it only takes one massive storm to deplete the savings.

A hurricane season - forecasted to be busier than recent years - has so far turned out to be another quiet season.

"Thus far we've not had a land-falling hurricane and that's good news for the State of Florida."
There is still more than a month to go until the end of hurricane season - but several years with few tropical events  - has allowed the state-created catastrophe fund to build the largest reserve ever in its 20 life. The fund provides cash to insurers when there are big losses.

"This is probably the best year we've ever had in terms of liquidity and our cash balance."
The fund can be looked at as a 'rainy day' account. Right now the account has around 10-billion dollars available although if more is needed it could borrow several billion more. But, one big storm could possibly deplete the fund.

"Two back to back storms, very large storms could cause us problems. So they're very events. But we take that seriously."

This season just three  tropical systems affected the state. If this season matches history - the likeliness of a strong tropical system to hit Florida this late in the season is low.

Although - Hurricane Kate hit the Florida Panhandle the week before Thanksgiving in 1985 -- prompting hurricane experts to remind people to stay prepared.

"Things you do to prepare for hurricane season are the things you prepare for hazards in the State of Florida; for flooding, for wildfire, for tornadoes, and other severe weather."

Hurricane or not - hurricane experts and those overseeing the Cat Fund say they'll be prepared for the next big storm.

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