When disaster strikes, so do the scammers. They pray upon well-intentioned people who want to help or worse yet, those impacted, at their most vulnerable time.
For those being asked to open their wallets:
- Check the charity out! Reputations of charities can be verified at Charity Navigator or GuideStar
- Avoid using email "links", unsolicited phone calls or door-to-door solicitors to make donations
- Examine the website. Often scammers will use sly misspellings or alternate domains like .biz
For those impacted:
- Don't be rushed into signing a contract. Get written estimates from several contractors.
- Be wary of contractors wanting large sums of money upfront or for temporary repairs.
- Investigate the reputation of the person you are considering hiring.
- Before hiring a public adjuster or attorney, attempt to settle the claim directly with your insurance company.
Nebraska's Attorney General Doug Peterson cautions
MUCK CLEAN UP SUPPLIES CHECKLIST
- Kneeling Pad (much better than knee pads (for any low height work project) - you can lay on it, sit on it, crawl on it and get to work!)
- Collapsible Trash Bag Holder (any light weight can for large contractor bags will work)
- Largest, most powerful "wet/dry" shopvac you can find
- Extra shopvac filters (wash and/or bang the dust out outside often and wear a dust mask)
- Shopvac crevice attachment for getting into tight spots exposed around the wooden floor plates under the studs (sill plate) NOTE: straight round tubes work best to collect large debris
- Flat long handle shovel for scooping up large piles of sheetrock crumbles
- Heavy duty floor scraper makes quick work of prying up baseboards AND removing carpet tack strips that are nailed to the concrete
- Five gallon tool bucket (standard operating equiment for any project)
- Nitrile Gloves (for scooping out soggy insulation)
- Heavy duty crow bar
- Wonder Bar (its a small pry bar and one of the most versatile tools for all projects - especially muck outs!)
- Utility knife (some prefer this method of scoring a horizontal line on the sheetrock at the highest breakoff point)
- Heavy leather work gloves
- N95 rated dust masks or greater
- Ear / hearing protection
- Large flat blade screwdriver (much larger than a normal screwdriver - works great to dig out sheetrock in tight places and down behind cabinet and wood floor plate under the studs)
- Safety glasses
- Drill with large aggressive hole saw (1.5" to 2" diameter to open base of cabinets)
- Rotozip (great tool for removing sheetrock and/or wood boards in tight spaces (you set the exact depth so you just barely cut through the wall material- without hitting electrical wires or plumbing in the wall)). Best to use in bathrooms around sinks and toilets where lots of pipes are behind the wall.
- Reciprocating saw with a very aggressive blade. Try a blade called "The AX". It cuts through wood, sheetrock and nails! Great for ripping out the back bottom area of cabinets.
- Heavy duty / large contractor bags
- Extension cords
- Wheel barrow (a solid tire without air is best)
- Bleach or Mildewcide
- Pump up sprayer (1 gallon is a good size)
- High velocity fans (about 2 per room are usually required)
- Dehumidifiers are a great addition