BBB Warns About “Storm Chasers” Following Hurricane Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy continues to make its way north, it leaves behind power outages, downed trees, and lots of property damage. And one thing is absolutely certain: As soon as the rains stop, the “storm chasers” come out in full force. Some are legitimate businesses truly trying to help, but some are scahurricane large 150x150 BBB Warns About “Storm Chasers” Following Hurricane Sandym artists out to make a quick buck off vulnerable storm victims. Some common “after-disaster” scams involve auto, home and yard repairs or clean-up.

BBB is urging those who have experienced storm damage to take certain precautions when cleaning up and making repair decisions. We have some post-hurricane tips for home owners and business owners who are suffering auto and property damage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy:

  • Check with your insurance company first to find out what is covered by your policy.
  • Stay calm and don’t make rash decisions. Make temporary repairs if necessary.
  • Shop around, get estimates, check out www.bbb.org for ratings on tens of thousands of contractors and repair professionals.
  • Be wary of door-to-door workers who claim to have left-over materials from a nearby job or who do not have a permanent place of business.
  • Get everything in writing, scrutinize the fine print, and ask questions.
  • Never pay in full in advance, and do not pay in cash.

Disaster victims should never feel forced to make a hasty decision or to choose an unknown contractor. For more tips you can trust and for a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in your area, visit www.bbb.org.

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About Katherine Hutt

Katherine R. Hutt, Director of Communications and Media Relations with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, is an award-winning communicator who has been helping nonprofit organizations tell their stories for the past 25 years. She was a CBBB consultant on numerous projects for more than a decade before joining the staff in 2011.