BE PREPARED: FORECLOSURE AUCTIONSJuly 12, 2020
The Corona Virus PandemicAugust 3, 2020
Hurricane season began June 1, and forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting above-normal hurricane activity in 2020, which means there could be three to six major hurricanes this year. With towns along the coast, Texas may face the storms head-on.
Hurricane season brings not only climate concerns but scammers as well. In the home repair business, “storm chasers” are untrustworthy contractors that travel to areas impacted by severe weather and go door to door offering to repair damage for low prices. Then, after receiving payment upfront, these storm chasers either leave without starting the projects or only partially complete it.
Along with the usual concerns associated with hurricane season, 2020 brings a new challenge in the form of COVID-19. NOAA warns that the pandemic can affect your ability to prepare for incoming hurricanes. Use these tips from the National Weather Service (NWS) and your Better Business Bureau to prepare for hurricane season and storm chasers:
- Check your insurance policy. Checking your insurance before a storm hits can save you time and stress later. Contact your insurance agent to review what your policy covers and if you need more coverage. You should also take a detailed inventory of items in your home to make any necessary claims process more efficient.
- Create a disaster kit. In the event of a severe hurricane, power may be lost, or roads shut down. Create a kit with bottled water, flashlights, batteries and nonperishable foods. Make sure your kit includes supplies for pets and infants, as well as prescription medications. Visit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at ready.gov/kit for a full list of disaster kit supplies.
- Prepare your home. Minimize damage by tying or weighing down any items that could get blown away in strong winds. Cover windows and doors with impact-resistant shutters. You should also prepare an evacuation plan with your family in the event you need to leave your home.
- Watch for storm chasers. After a storm hits and damage has been assessed, be wary of contractors going door to door in your area. Storm chasers often use high-pressure tactics, like offering a great deal that is only available that day. Ask any contractor that comes to your door for references or visit BBB.org to find trustworthy businesses to repair damage to your home or property.
- Plan ahead. Because of COVID-19, supplies may be low and evacuation plans may need to be adjusted. The sooner you begin preparing for hurricane season, the easier it will be to handle the aftermath.
You can’t control the weather, but you can prepare for it! Visit BBB.org to find trustworthy contractors and go to weather.gov/safety/hurricane for more on hurricane safety.