Hurricane season is here. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an above-average season, with 14 – 21 named storms. Of those, 6 – 10 have the possibility of becoming hurricanes. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) encourages everyone to take the time to prepare their homes and their families for hurricanes, so they aren't left picking up the pieces.
Hurricanes can make us feel powerless. While we can't control when they happen, but homeowners can take many different precautions to protect their homes when hurricane season is in full swing.
THE NOAA OFFERS THESE THEMES FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS:
1. Determine Your Risk
2. Develop an Evacuation Plan
3. Assemble Disaster Supplies
4. Get an Insurance Checkup
5. Strengthen Your Home
6. Help Your Neighbor
7. Complete a Written Plan
In the aftermath of a hurricane, shady contractors make their way into neighborhoods, looking to take advantage of traumatized and distracted disaster victims. While most contractors are reputable and honest, some aren't and NICB offers these tips to help homeowners avoid being scammed:
If you didn't request it, reject it. Be wary of anyone door to door salespeople making their way through neighborhoods offering unsolicited repairs to your home during relief efforts.
Research any contractors you come across. Check the Better Business Bureau or state attorney general’s office to see if the firm has any outstanding complaints.
Never pay for work up front. Don’t pay for anything until you have talked to your insurer and have a written contract that clearly details important information such as prices for labor and materials, as well clean-up procedures and estimated start and finish dates.
For more information on disaster fraud, click here.