Post-Disaster Cautions

When natural disasters hit, loss or damage to property often occurs. To protect your financial resources, here are some reminders.


Following a disaster, be careful with those who have suffered injuries. Don't attempt to reposition anyone. They could be suffering from a broken back or internal bleeding. You might harm them further or cause their death.

If someone is trapped under a fallen tree, don't try to pull them out, without being sure you can rescue them without harm.

After a disaster, con artists try to take advantage of people's financial resources. Here are some cautions to protect you.

Check with the Better Business Bureau about any contractor you are planning to hire.

Don't take FEMA loans if you are living in the U.S.. Payments are made in insufficient amounts over a long period of time.

When requesting relief funds from a state agency, don't list financial resources, unless legally mandated.

Don't give cash for building supplies, if you can't get a complete receipt.

Don't let the insurance company tell you they've made final payment on your claim. Check to see if the work has been completed.

Check with the store about return policies before purchasing goods.

Don't give contractors your credit card to charge on, unless necessary. Itemize your bills to check all purchases have been received and used.

Once the contractor has quoted a price, don't let them tack on additional charges not related to changes you've asked for.

Monitor the contractor's work. Be present as often as you can and double-check everything.

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