After the storm: How to help victims and avoid being scammed - WRBL

After the storm: How to help victims and avoid being scammed

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Lee County, Ala -

Red Cross volunteers are set up at the Crawford Baptist Church in Phenix City, hosting those who were removed from their homes after severe weather tore through the valley-area early Thursday morning.

Volunteers are providing food, a cot and medical care to anyone that needs assistance. Volunteers say they have plenty of supplies, but they're asking for monetary donations.

East Alabama Red Cross has set up a fundraiser benefiting those affected by the tornadoes in Alabama. You can give at: http://www.crowdrise.com/alabamatornadoes2014

If you live in Alabama, you can also dial the "Alabama Connects" hotline at 2-1-1 if you would like to help or need help after the storm.

Avoid storm damage scams

The Lee County Emergency Management Agency says if you have damage, some scammers may try and take advantage. To avoid being duped, they advise you to:

  • Not "pre-pay" a contractor for his or her services
  • Always get more than 1 quote for your repair project
  • Don't hire anyone without a valid contractor's license
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange also pledged that his office will be vigilant in protecting our citizens from those who might exploit this tragedy for illegal profit.

Alabama’s price gouging law comes into effect when the Governor declares a State of Emergency. The law prohibits the “unconscionable pricing” of items for sale or rent.

A price that is 25% or more above the average price charged in the same area within the last 30 days, unless the increase can be attributed to a reasonable cost, is a case of unconscionable pricing. The penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 per violation, and those determined to have willfully and continuously violated this law may be prohibited from doing business in Alabama.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, focuses on how your tax dollars are being spent.
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