In the early morning hours the skies opened up, drenching Annapolis with a fierce downpour, accompanied by a dramatic show of lightning and booming thunder. But the worst was yet to come as storms tore across the Chesapeake Bay slamming into the eastern shore’s Bay City area of Stevensville.Better Business Bureau serving Greater Maryland is reminding homeowners impacted by the storm to take photos of any damage as a record and contact their homeowners insurance carrier for next steps. “Folks want to get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible,” said Jody Thomas, VP Communication and Marketing for BBB serving Greater Maryland. “Once it’s safe to get out, it’s important to document damage and report it to your insurance company. Depending on the repairs needed, residents may be authorized to make temporary repairs to prevent further problems before an adjuster visits.” Thomas adds, “We can’t stress enough how vital it is to make sure you hire a licensed contractor or tree removal company to handle repairs.”Consumers can visit BBB’s website to find local contractors, read customer reviews and check to see if a business has resolved any past complaints through the non-profit’s free service. Listings of BBB Accredited home improvement contractors, roofers, and home repaircompanies, which are screened annually for licensing and compliance with BBB Standards, are also available. Marylanders are urged to avoid a quick-fix, or tempting price, offered by traveling repair companies or chainsaw-wielding, “tree service.” These individuals may not possess required licensing, liability insurance and might not perform repairs up to code. Watch for non-permanent vehicle advertising and out-of-state phone numbers. Always verify license numbers with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. Tree service companies are licensed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It’s believed the storm touched off a tornado. A swath of trees was cut down to just a few feet. News reports showed a home off its foundation. Many more residences are reported to have sustained varying degrees of damage to roofing and siding. More than 8,000 power customers are estimated to be in the dark as of daybreak. For more information and an insurance checklist, visit bbb.org or call 410-347-3900.