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Picking up the pieces after a disaster

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Dealing with the aftermath of a wildfire, flood, tornado, or other disaster is never easy, but taking stock and developing a recovery plan can give you a sense of hope and purpose. Here are a few tips and links to resources to help make the task less burdensome.

  • Contact your insurance company. Ask what the next steps are in assessing any damage to your home or business.
  • Be skeptical of people promising immediate clean-up and debris removal. Some may demand payment up-front for work they never do, quote outrageous prices, or simply lack the skills, licenses, and insurance to legally do the work.
  • If you’re looking for a place to rent during recovery, be cautious of rental listing scams. Scammers often advertise rentals that don’t exist to trick people into sending money before they find out the truth.
  • Many people will be asking for your personal information. Make sure you know who you are dealing with. Ask for identification before you share your Social Security or account numbers. Scammers sometimes pose as government officials, and ask for your financial information or money to apply for aid that you can request on your own for free. Government officials will never ask you for money in exchange for information or the promise of a check.
  • You might have had to leave your home without IDs, checks, credit and debit cards, and other documents. You also might be without access to a bank account or paycheck for some time. If you need to get money, understand your options for paying bills and replacing important documents. This list of contacts may help you regain your financial footing.
  • Call your creditors and ask for help. If you’re a homeowner, even if your home is uninhabitable, you still have a mortgage. Contact your lender to discuss your options.

For more tips, please visit Dealing with Weather Emergencies.

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