Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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Severe Storm Safety Tips

Bad weather can arise quickly offering little time to prepare. Whenever faced with the effects of a severe storm, there are numerous problems that can arise. The following are a few tips to help protect yourself from some of the more prominent issues you may face.

Sale of Disaster Relief Kits

Also, check into what the kit includes; you may not need any of the contents or can retrieve the items on your own.

Fictitious Fundraising Efforts

There are numerous legitimate charities, but in times of disaster, scammers will attempt to take advantage of your goodwill and solicit contributions for a non-existent charity. You can check a charity's legitimacy by calling the Department of State Charities Bureau at 1-800-732-0999.

Home Repair Scams

After a natural disaster, some may need immediate repair to their home, but do not let immediacy cloud your judgment regarding home repair contractors. Always check-up on the business before agreeing to any terms, legitimate repair companies will be happy to give you all of their company information and references. You should always ask for a written estimate and get all guarantees in writing. If you are at all suspicious of the repair company, seek repair assistance elsewhere.

Phony Door-to-Door Inspectors

Following a severe weather storm, unscrupulous sellers will attempt to victimize consumers in their homes offering various home inspection needs on the premise of Aensuring your safety. These sellers may use high-pressure sale tactics; they may be offering unnecessary services; and often their prices are higher then warranted. As with home repair businesses, check out the inspector before agreeing to do any work; ask for an estimate; request information about the company; and ask for references. Also, make sure to investigate the necessity of the services before making any payments.

If you have any questions regarding the aforementioned scams or you feel that you may have been taken advantage of, you can contact the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.