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Tropical Storm Isaac – Update

Isaac is slowly moving and appears to be taking a more westward trajectory.  Per the National Hurricane Center: A Hurricane Warning is in effect for: The Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas, The West Coast of Florida from Bonita Beach southward and Florida Bay. This means that hurricane conditions are expected in these areas and the tropical storm force winds can be expected in 36 hours. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Florida East Coast from Golden Beach southward. This means that hurricane conditions are possible (as opposed to expected) within the next 24-36 hours. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for: Inland Collier County, the Florida East Coast from Jupiter Inlet southward and Lake Okeechobee. This means that tropical storm conditions are expected in these areas within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Florida East Coast north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet. This means that tropical storm conditions...

Hurricane Isaac Preparedness

As of 8AM this morning, the entire state of Florida is in the 5-day projected path for Tropical Storm Isaac. Isaac is predicted to become a hurricane before hitting Cuba. If you want to follow Isaac's path you can go to www.noaa.gov and do so. Although things may change it is always best to be prepared. For individuals this means securing adequate food, water and medication as well as ensuring personal safety along with the safety of loved ones and pets. For Condominium and Homeowner Associations Becker & Poliakoff has a 12-point Hurricane Preparedness Checklist to prepare for Hurricane Isaac: 1. Disaster Plan – If you have a disaster plan be ready to implement it. At a minimum, designate a responsible community member as Disaster Plan Coordinator and another as Information Facilitator to field queries and respond to from community members. These individuals should be outside the impacted areas so that they...

New State Law Requires Public Bid Openings

During the several years, there has been some controversy concerning whether bid openings should be open to the public and what information bidders should have access to. In 2011, the Florida Legislature expanded the exemptions to the Public Records Law enlarging the time for bids to be exempt from inspection and copying from ten days to thirty days from the opening of the bids, or until the time of a notice of intended award, whichever is earlier. Concerns were raised as to access to information, and whether bid openings should be open to the public. This year, the Florida Legislature enacted Section 255.0518, Florida Statutes which requires state and local agencies to open sealed bids for the construction or repairs on a public building or public work during an open meeting conducted in accordance with the Sunshine Law. The agency is further required to announce the name of each bidder and the price submitted in...

Governor Declares State of Emergency

As a result of Tropical Storm Debby, the Governor has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the entire state of Florida.  The order does several things including (I will not go through the entire list here): - Activates the State's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and appoints the Director of the Division of Emergency Management as the State Coordinating Officer ("SCO"). - Activates the Florida National Guard and places them under the direction of the SCO. - Allows state, regional and local agencies to deviate from statutes, rules and orders to the extent that such actions are needed to cope with the emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, budgeting, leasing, travel, conditions of employment and compensation of employees. This provision expires within 30 days of the order unless extended by the Governor. - Allows pharmacists to dispense a 30-day prescription refill for maintenance medication. - Gives Agency heads the authority to abrogate any applications for permits and licenses...

Being Indemnified for Your Own Wrongdoing

Despite the general rule that parties to a contract may agree to any terms they want, there are some terms that must satisfy certain requirements in order to be enforceable, like indemnification provisions. Even in short, simple, standard form documents, like work orders, the provisions must satisfy the requirements, or you might not be able to rely on them when you need them most....