Tips to Help Home and Vehicle Owners Recover from Hurricane Irma Damage

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

As residents continue to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, AAA Carolinas reminds owners the proper steps to take regarding damaged homes and vehicles and to be cautious of scams.

Along with flooding, high winds have caused downed trees which have led to power outages throughout the Carolinas. AAA Carolinas encourages storm victims to avoid cleaning and repair scams by working with their insurance company directly and as soon as possible.

“We are working tirelessly to help our policyholders to be able to get their lives back on track as soon as possible following the devastation from Hurricane Irma,” said Jim McCafferty, Senior Vice President of Insurance Services at AAA Carolinas. “If you have experienced damage, it is crucial that you contact your insurance provider immediately before you agree to any repairs.”

Before hiring a company or contractor, AAA recommends NOT signing any documents and following these tips:

Call your insurance adjuster first to get an estimate of the damage and probable repairs.

Be cautious of flyers or business cards left at your property.

Get more than one cost estimate for repair work.

Get references and check into the business license if possible.

Check their website to see if they have set up a Catastrophic Claims Center located in your hometown.

This information should be available on your insurance company website.

Never let a contractor interpret insurance language.

If your neighborhood was flooded be careful inside the home and car. Remember snakes, rodents and other animals were looking for dry places to survive the flood as well.

Make sure your spare tire is operable and that your vehicle is supplied with some type of temporary flat fixing material such as “Fix a Flat”. Roofs being blow off of houses means there are nails in the street as well as other debris you may drive over.

Keep an inventory of any damaged goods you discard, using a cell phone camera to take pictures of the items.

If you have lost power, find out where the Red Cross, FEMA and other charity organizations are setting up relief areas. They are normally supplied with water, meals, showers and washing machines.
Drive carefully. Remember, if standing water is on the road, turn around and don’t drown.
Don’t touch any downed utility lines.
“The Carolinas fortunately survived both hurricanes Harvey and Irma without catastrophic damage, while others were not so lucky,” said AAA Carolinas CEO Dave Parsons. “Now is the time to come together to help your neighbors rebuild on both the local and national scale.”