Hurricane Ian Eyewall Moving Ashore; Catastrophic Florida Strike Begins

Disaster Alert
September 28, 2022

Source:  The Weather Channel

H​urricane Ian is nearing landfall as one of southwest Florida’s most intense hurricanes on record, expected to produce catastrophic storm surge, destructive winds and flooding rainfall.

I​an is a Category 4 hurricane packing maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Some coastal gauges are now reporting water rises, the beginning of Ian’s storm surge, including in Naples, Florida, where over 4 feet of storm surge inundation has been measured, more than any other storm at that gauge location in at least 50 years.

Meanwhile, winds blowing offshore have produced a blowout tide in Tampa Bay Wednesday morning.

Bands of heavy rain containing strong wind gusts are lashing parts of the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys right now.

Winds have recently gusted up to 62 mph in Ft. Myers and Naples. Gusts over 40 mph have been clocked on the Atlantic side in Melbourne, Florida. Street flooding was reported in Stuart, about 100 miles north of Miami.

Winds have gusted from 40 to 80 mph in Key West since Tuesday, where Ian also produced the third highest storm surge in over 100 years.

A​ tornado watch is in effect for central and southern Florida until 5 p.m. EDT.

Current Watches, Warnings

Hurricane warnings (shaded in purple in the map below) now stretch across the Florida Peninsula from southwest to central to Florida’s Space Coast, including including Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fort Myers, Orlando and Daytona Beach. This means hurricane conditions are expected.

A storm surge warning is also in effect along much of Florida’s west coast, from the mouth of the Suwanee River to the Lower Keys, including Tampa Bay, and also on the Atlantic side from the Flagler-Volusia County line in northeast Florida to the entire Georgia coast to Charleston County, South Carolina, including Florida’s St. Johns River. This means life-threatening flooding from rising water moving inland from the coastline is expected.

A​ hurricane watch extends from northeast Florida’s coast to Charleston County, South Carolina, where hurricane conditions are possible.

Tropical storm warnings extend from the Florida Keys northward to southeast Florida, the northwestern Bahamas, the Florida Big Bend and from northeastern Florida to the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, as you can see in the map below.

Forecast Path, Intensity

Landfall of Ian’s center should occur this afternoon between Sarasota and Fort Myers.

Ian should remain at least Category 4, but could make an extremely rare Category 5 landfall this afternoon. Regardless, Ian will be a life-threatening, catastrophic landfall, one of southwest Florida’s strongest hurricanes on record.

A​fter that, Ian will move over the central Florida Peninsula and eventually weaken to a tropical storm. Ian could then emerge briefly over the Atlantic waters before turning back toward the Georgia or South Carolina coasts as a tropical storm or low-end hurricane Friday and Friday night.

Forecast Impacts

S​torm Surge

I​an will produce catastrophic storm surge along parts of the southwest Florida coast.

The map below shows possible peak storm surge inundation, if that happens at the time of high tide, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The peak surge, possibly up to 18 feet, will occur near and south of where the center makes landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday. That could be between Englewood and Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor.

NHC senior meteorologist Eric Blake noted Wednesday morning nobody alive has witnessed storm surge as high as forecast for Ian in southwest Florida. This could, in fact, be a record storm surge for southwest Florida, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Storm surge is also expected on the Atlantic side of northeast Florida and into coastal Georgia and South Carolina beginning late Wednesday or Thursday. Given the wind direction out of the northeast as this may occur, the St. Johns River in northeast Florida may back up and flood.

D​ue to persistent onshore winds even as Ian’s center moves farther away, coastal flooding may last for some time beyond the peak storm surge into Friday or even early Saturday in western Florida and along the areas shown below along the Atlantic Southeast coast.

W​ind Threat

W​ind damage from Ian will be catastrophic near where its eyewall tracks inland into the southwest Florida coast. That will include the stretch of coastline from Sarasota to Port Charlotte and Fort Myers.

P​ower outages and downed trees are likely in areas under hurricane and tropical storm warnings. Those outages could last for days or weeks in locations that see the highest winds.

S​tructural damage is possible, with the greatest threat near where the core of the hurricane’s center tracks in western and southwestern Florida.

T​he map below shows where sustained tropical storm and hurricane force winds are ongoing as of the latest National Hurricane Center advisory.


Heavy rainfall is another dangerous threat from the Florida Peninsula into portions of the Southeast through the weekend.

Here’s the latest rainfall forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

-Florida Keys and South Florida: 6 to 8 inches, with locally up to 12 inches.

-Central and Northeast Florida: 12 to 18 inches, with locally up to 24 inches.

-Eastern Georgia and coastal South Carolina: 4 to 8 inches, with locally up to 12 inches.

This heavy rain is likely to trigger dangerous, potentially catastrophic flash flooding in parts of Florida, especially in urban areas, along with river flooding that is likely to last for days after Ian is over.

A​dditional locally heavy rain and flash flooding is possible this weekend as Ian or its remnant pivots into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states, particularly in mountainous terrain.

I​solated tornadoes are also a threat across much of the Florida Peninsula on Wednesday, in northeast Florida Thursday and the coastal Carolinas Friday.

C​heck back with us at for the very latest on this developing situation.

For full report, please click the source link above.



Alan Jaffa

Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, steering the company as the mortgage field services industry leader. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Alan joined Safeguard in 1995, learning the business from the ground up. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2002, and was named CEO in May 2010. His hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard’s processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.

Under Alan’s leadership, Safeguard has grown significantly with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisitions. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.

In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its annual “40-Under-40” profile of young leaders. He also was named a NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® finalist in 2013.


Chief Operating Officer

Michael Greenbaum

Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike’s leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.

Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations in 2013 and then COO in 2015.

Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.

Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.



Sean Reddington

Sean Reddington is the new Chief Information Officer for Safeguard Properties LLC. Sean has over 15+ years of experience in Information Services Management with a strong focus on Product and Application Management. Sean is responsible for Safeguard’s technological direction, including planning, implementation and maintaining all operational systems

Sean has a proven record of accomplishment for increasing operational efficiencies, improving customer service levels, and implementing and maintaining IT initiatives to support successful business processes.  He has provided the vision and dedicated leadership for key technologies for Fortune 100 companies, and nationally recognized consulting firms including enterprise system architecture, security, desktop and database management systems. Sean possesses strong functional and system knowledge of information security, systems and software, contracts management, budgeting, human resources and legal and related regulatory compliance.

Sean joined Safeguard Properties LLC from RenPSG Inc. which is a nationally leading Philintropic Software Platform in the Fintech space. He oversaw the organization’s technological direction including planning, implementing and maintaining the best practices that align with all corporate functions. He also provided day-to-day technology operations, enterprise security, information risk and vulnerability management, audit and compliance, security awareness and training.

Prior to RenPSG, Sean worked for DMI Consulting as a Client Success Director where he guided the delivery in a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 enterprise client account. He was responsible for all project deliveries in terms of quality, budget and timeliness and led the team to coordinate development and definition of project scope and limitations. Sean also worked for KPMG Consulting in their Microsoft Practice and Technicolor’s Ebusiness Division where he had responsibility for application development, maintenance, and support.

Sean is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts and received his Masters in International Business from Central Michigan University. He was also a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force prior to his career in the business world.


General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Linda Erkkila, Esq.

Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president for Safeguard and oversees the legal, human resources, training, and compliance departments. Linda’s responsibilities cover regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human resources and training initiatives, compliance, litigation and claims management, and mergers, acquisition and joint ventures.

Linda assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans over 20 years, and Linda’s experience covers regulatory disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, litigation management, and merger and acquisition activity. Her experience at a former Fortune 500 financial institution during the subprime crisis helped develop Linda’s pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Linda previously served as vice president and attorney for National City Corporation, as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc., and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. In 2017, Linda was named as both a “Woman of Influence” by HousingWire and as a “Leading Lady” by MReport.


Chief Financial Officer

Joe Iafigliola

Joe Iafigliola is the Chief Financial Officer for Safeguard. Joe is responsible for the Control, Quality Assurance, Business Development, Accounting & Information Security departments, and is a Managing Director of SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.

Joe has an MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University’s Honors Accounting program.


AVP, High Risk and Investor Compliance

Steve Meyer

Steve Meyer is the assistant vice president of high risk and investor compliance for Safeguard. In this role, Steve is responsible for managing our clients’ conveyance processes, Safeguard’s investor compliance team and developing our working relationships with cities and municipalities around the country. He also works directly with our clients in our many outreach efforts and he represents Safeguard at a number of industry conferences each year.

Steve joined Safeguard in 1998 as manager over the hazard claims team. He was instrumental in the development and creation of policies, procedures and operating protocol. Under Steve’s leadership, the department became one of the largest within Safeguard. In 2002, he assumed responsibility for the newly-formed high risk department, once again building its success. Steve was promoted to director over these two areas in 2007, and he was promoted to assistant vice president in 2012.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve spent 10 years within the insurance industry, holding a number of positions including multi-line property adjuster, branch claims supervisor, and multi-line and subrogation/litigation supervisor. Steve is a graduate of Grove City College.


AVP, Operations

Jennifer Jozity

Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of operations, overseeing inspections, REO and property preservation for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management.  She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.

Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012.

She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.


AVP, Finance

Jennifer Anspach

Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of finance for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 1,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention, payroll and benefits programs. Additionally, Jennifer has oversight of the accounts receivable and loss functions formerly within the accounting department.

Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University. She was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year in 2017.


AVP, Application Architecture

Rick Moran

Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.

Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick’s team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.


AVP, Technology Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Steve Machovina

Steve Machovina is the assistant vice president of technology infrastructure and cloud services for Safeguard. He is responsible for the overall management and design of Safeguard’s hybrid cloud infrastructure. He manages all technology engineering staff who support data centers, telecommunications, network, servers, storage, service monitoring, and disaster recovery.

Steve joined Safeguard in November 2013 as director of information technology operations.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was vice president of information technology at Revol Wireless, a privately held wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana. He also held management positions with Northcoast PCS and Corecomm Communications, and spent nine years as a Coast Guard officer and pilot.

Steve holds a BBA in management information systems from Kent State University in Ohio and an MBA from Wayne State University in Michigan.


Assistant Vice president of Application Development

Steve Goberish

Steve Goberish, is the assistant vice president of application development for Safeguard. He is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of Safeguard’s vendor systems ensuring high-availability, security and scalability while advancing the vendor products’ capabilities and enhancing the vendor experience.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was a senior technical architect and development manager at First American Title Insurance, a publicly held title insurance provider based in southern California, in addition to managing and developing applications in multiple sectors from insurance to VOIP.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio.