Taking Action to keep flood victims from being scammed

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – WHNT News 19 has a Taking Action alert for victims of recent flooding in north Alabama. We have compiled steps you need to take before hiring contractors to repair damage.

In the Muscle Shoals neighborhood of Nathan Estates, residents and volunteers have been working tirelessly all week. They’ve been busy emptying homes, tearing out flooring and removing drywall. In a few days, it will be time to begin rebuilding.

It’s hard to imagine, but there are people who prey on disaster victims. Muscle Shoals City Clerk Ricky Williams says there are easy ways to tell the good contractors from the bad ones. First, they should be carrying a valid Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board certificate.

“They should also possess a city license from whatever city they’re working in,” Williams mentioned.

Williams encourages residents to ask to see the licenses and not just take their word for it. Also, don’t feel pressured to make a decision right away.

“In a lot of these disasters people will show up at your door wanting to do work for you,” Williams said. “They may want to do it for cash or they may give you a spiel that "Hey I was working down the street, can I help you?'”

And if you get a bad feeling about the person – trust your gut. Before coming to an agreement with a contractor to do work for you, call your local building department to check them out. A few minutes may save you thousands of dollars down the road.

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