07 August 2011
The Ledger

For reasons beyond his control, Ralph Moore lives in exile.

It's been that way for four decades; a life off the grid on the shores of Lake Buffum, 11 miles east of Fort Meade. There, in a rural enclave enveloped by orange groves, Moore and his neighbors live quiet lives punctuated by the fear of sudden demise.

A lightning strike. The smell of smoke. An overzealous sunbeam. Any threat of fire brings them to their front yards, their last line of defense.

This is a fact of life for Moore and his lot, who for years have lived in a location the Insurance Services Office, or ISO, has deemed a "Class 10" area. More than five miles from a fire station, these people live in a neighborhood ordained as "high risk," a term that translates to heightened fire insurance premiums or no insurance altogether.

And on June 1, unbeknownst to them, about 3,000 more Polk County residents entered the same limbo ­— ­silent victims of a long overdue ISO resurvey that classified five more communities as Class 10 spots.

Read the rest of the story at The Ledger.

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