A priority for many survivors of Hurricane Katrina is getting back into their homes, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety. But experts say there are two things to think about before the first nail is hammered: How can I rebuild to better prepare my home for the next time it’s threatened, and who do I get to do the job?
Unfortunately, a catastrophe greatly magnifies the opportunity for fraud and abuse. Don’t be victimized twice. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends the following steps to protect yourself financially:
* Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away.
* Get references from contractors and check them out before you sign.
* Get more than one estimate and get everything in writing.
* Never sign a contract with blanks.
* Never pay a contractor in full until the work is complete.
Free information is available to help you work with your contractor to build above code with disaster protection from the ground up. There is also information on high wind rated windows, doors and roofing material, as well as ways to add protection to existing homes. Visit www.disastersafety.org for more details.
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