Disaster Recovery Centers in place to help flood recovery
BATON ROUGE – As cleanup and recovery begins after damaging rain and flooding, federal disaster officials have set up recovery centers across Louisiana to aid residents.
FEMA says it has opened several Disaster Recovery Centers accross the state to help residents as cleanup efforts begin. Volunteers and represenatives from GOHSEP, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration are set up at the centers to answer questions about disaster aid. These represenatives will also help residents file for federal diaster aid.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is encouraging residents to register their damage online at the disaster assistance website before visiting a recovery center.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry offered these tips to avoid scams during the recovery process:
Do not donate to any charity that asks for a cash or wired donation and does not provide proof your contribution would be tax-deductible. You can sear the IRS website to determine which organizations are eligible to recieve tax deductible contributions.
Be wary of charities that arise immediately after a natural disaster.
Insist on a face-to-face transaction with a rental agreement. Visit the physical location of the advertised rental property. Con artists advertise rental property on social media sites, requiring potential renters to send money through wires.
Get at least three itemized, detailed bids from licensed contractors. Make sure the contractor is licensed through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
Always require the contractor to show proof of insurance such as workman's compensation and general liability insurance. Call that insurer to confirm coverage.
Do not agree to a large down payment. If possible – accompany the contractor to the building supply store, pay for the materials yourself, and have materials delivered directly to jobsite.
Get a guarantee and a contract in writing. Any changes in the contract should be in writing and initialed by both parties.