Friday, June 14, 2019

BBB Tip: Preparing for and Recovering from Flooding - News15 | Lafayette, LA - FOX 15

BBB Tip: Preparing for and Recovering from Flooding - News15 | Lafayette, LA - FOX 15

BBB Tip: Preparing for and Recovering from Flooding - News15 | Lafayette, LA - FOX 15

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 12:25 PM PDT

          With Hurricane season in full swing, the Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana urges all homeowners to take care when choosing businesses and contractors to help with the cleanup work after a hurricane or any major storm.  Quick action can minimize disastrous effects on businesses and homes. According to FEMA, just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage.

          Water Damage Restoration: What to Do When Your House is Flooded, BBB offers these tips:

·         Check your insurance policy – Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. In some high-risk flood areas, home and business owners may be required by law to carry flood insurance.

·         Repairing the damage – Don't make any permanent changes to your property until you get approval from your insurance provider. Take photos of the storm damage to show your insurance company.

·         Get multiple opinions – Shop around and get at least three different estimates before deciding on a contractor. Make sure the estimates are broken down the same way.  Research company profiles at to find reputable contractors.

·         Ask for proof of liability, workers compensation, and licensing

·         Get everything in writing – Demand a written contract from anyone you hire. Clearly written, detailed proposals that are broken down into separate line items are a good sign that the contractor is being thorough and has prepared an accurate estimate. The following is a partial list of things your estimate or proposal should include:

1.    The type of material being used, manufacturer, and color

2.    Scope of work to be done, including material and labor costs

3.    Who is responsible for repairing/replacing exterior landscape or interior finishes that are damaged during the course of the work?

4.    Approximate starting and completion dates

5.    Payment procedures

6.    Length of warranty and what is covered, e.g., workmanship, water leakage, etc.

7.    Who will haul away the old materials and project waste? Is there an extra charge for this service?

·         Beware of Scams: It is also wise to be on the lookout for scammers who are seeking to take advantage of an owners haste to repair the damage. Here are a few red flags to be wary of:

1.    Door-to-door workers who claim to have leftover materials. If salespeople go door-to-door, check to see if your community requires them to have solicitation permits and ask for identification. Take your time to research the business before contacting them to pursue further details and agreements.

2.    A contractor who shows up unannounced and claims your home is unsafe. If you are concerned about possible structural damage in your home, have an engineer, architect, or building official inspect it. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work.

3.    Never pay in full for all repairs in advance. While many companies may ask for a deposit, BBB suggests that no more than one-third of the job be paid up front. Be sure the contract specifies the schedule for releasing payments to the contractor. The final payment should be made only after the work is complete and all subcontractors have been paid.

4.    Businesses without local addresses. When looking for a reputable business that can help with the cleanup, start by visiting Always ask for references and verify them independently.

          You can find more information on home improvement scams here. Go to BBB Scam Tracker to see if others have reported a scam, or to report a scam yourself.

Flood Preparedness: How to Prepare for a Flood Disaster

          If you haven't been affected by storm damage, you should still prepare in case of future disasters. Here are some simple steps that businesses and homeowners can take to reduce the impact of natural disasters:

  • Take pictures/video of your business or home as a point of reference in the event of an emergency.
  • Back up critical digital files on a portable external hard drive and store it away from the office.
  • Properly anchor fuel and propane tanks, so they don't float away in case of flooding. Also, ensure you keep your fuel levels full ahead of storms.
  • Have copies of your insurance policies on hand and have an electronic version available.
  • Collect family photos and other mementos in a centralized and easily accessible area, preferably in a watertight container.
  • Keep medicines together in a waterproof container.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with a change of clothes, weather appropriate footwear, flashlight, water, and battery or crank operated radio to monitor the weather without electricity.
  • Discuss your emergency plan with your family. Designate a "safe place" inside if you have to take shelter and a meeting place outside in case you have to evacuate.

"Look for the Seal" and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization. BBB strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.

Please contact Better Business Bureau at 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. Consumers can also sign up for our free BBB "Scoop" eNewsletter by visiting and clicking on the "Programs & Services" tab.

           BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

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