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Government - Tree limb removal picture

A crane is being used to remove a fallen tree limb from a home. Plan ahead to prevent or limit storm damage to your home. Remove dead, brittle, or diseased trees and weak, dead, or overhanging limbs. Also, cleanout and repair gutters and make roof repairs, including tacking down loose shingles and replacing damaged shingles, as soon as possible. Professional help is recommended for large jobs, including tree removal, to prevent injury to you or damage to your property. Photo credit - Marilyn Clark, League City Area News Online. Chuck Peek is the climber for work being done by Tree Care Services, Joe Soucie, owner.

Don't be scammed in aftermath of storms and flooding

The peak of hurricane season is from August through October.
You may wish to make a list of quality contractors now.

From the Office of Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas

August 15, 2007

Government - Attorney General Greg Abbott picture

Points to remember: Home Repairs

How long has the contractor been in business?

Is the contractor insured and/or bonded?

Does the contractor have references? Check them.

Get all terms in writing.

Get all promises in writing.

Do not sign a contract with blank spaces.

What is the contractor's reputation with the Better Business Bureau?

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott June 27 warned Central Texas residents to be wary of fraudulent attempts to bilk flood victims in the aftermath of recent storms.

“Texans will not tolerate anyone who attempts to illegally profit from a disaster,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Office of the Attorney General will aggressively prosecute anyone who attempts to exploit consumers in the wake of these storms. We will keep Central Texas residents in our thoughts and prayers as we vigorously monitor this situation.”

As emergency response officials begin to gather reports of damaged homes and structures, Attorney General Abbott urged homeowners and businesses to exercise caution when seeking contractors to help with repairs. Abbott offered the following consumer tips:

Home repairs

Be wary of contractors who show up unexpectedly and offer roofing, drywall and other major repairs, particularly those who are not from the local community and low-ball their offer saying that they have material left over from a previous job and insist on an advance cash payment.

Obtain bids in writing from several contractors first and review each one carefully. Ask contractors if they are covered through insurance or a bond, particularly when considering them for a large project. Check with the city to make sure electricians and plumbers have the necessary license and have obtained the required permits.

Get all terms in writing and do not sign a contract without a full understanding of its contents. Do not sign a contract that has spaces left blank. Pay the contractor only as the work progresses, and do not sign a completion certificate until all repairs are done properly. If the work is substantial, consider having an independent inspector look it over before settling the bill with the contractor.

Before hiring a contractor, contact the Better Business Bureau and the Office of the Attorney General to determine whether consumers have filed complaints against the contractor in the past.

Charity scams

Be wary of telemarketers, solicitations by mail, or those who show up unexpectedly urging an immediate donation to an unfamiliar charity which supposedly will aid victims of the disaster. A legitimate charity will offer detailed information in writing about how donated money will be used and will provide a reasonable timeframe within which the donor can make an informed decision.

Be particularly suspicious of solicitors who are long on emotion but short on detail about how donations will be put to use. Always make the donation using a check or money order made out to the charity, and be wary of organizations with names that are very similar but not identical to those of a recognized charity.

Additional information to help consumers protect themselves against these and other disaster-related scams is available on the Attorney General’s Web site at, or by calling (800) 252-8011. Information is available in English and Spanish.

Note: The photo and the information with the photo are supplementary.

Government - Tips on home repairs from the Texas Attorney General

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