Ok. The storm is over. You and your family were prepared and came through in good shape. But, there is property damage. Utilities are out. Are the roads blocked? Maybe there are flood waters to deal with. You're in the aftermath and there are still risks to your safety.
Knowing what to do in the wake of a severe storm or disaster may be just as important to you and your family as taking proper actions ahead of the storm. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup, and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Any storm that damages power lines, gas lines, or electrical systems, puts you at risk due to fire, electrocution, or an explosion.
After a storm hits, you may need to find a contractor to fix damage to your home or business, but the fear of victimization from contractor fraud can make this difficult. The National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud (NCPHIF) says that the key is being thoughtful versus reactive and desperate. Unscrupulous and illegal contractors prey on homeowners who are uninformed, ill-prepared, and unable to protect themselves. When you are informed, ask questions, and remain calm while finding a contractor to repair your home, you are minimizing the opportunity of being victimized by contractor fraud and may be protecting your neighbors too. A contractor that is trying to get away with fraud will run if he thinks you may be the one to catch him before he acts! Here are some helpful hints from NCPHIF for hiring a contractor.