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Source : Raw Pixel
September 4, 2023
Author : Patty Allen
Clouds over the sunshine state don't seem to ebb, most recently afflicted by Hurricane Idalia.
In a press release, the National Hurricane Center reported that the storm's eye had 130 mph winds reaching Category 4 as it made landfall in Taylor County.
The situation on the ground was "apocalyptic" as the National Guard prepared to assist in evacuating the storm victims, which coastal area impacted.
Last week, President Biden had approved a federal emergency declaration for the state in preparation for the storm.
Preparedness is the key to survival for Florida, which regularly experiences fast winds and torrential rainfall. Contractors are mostly prepared for everything from water removal to securing materials in place. Most high-rise building projects are vulnerable to wind damage, whereas smaller structures are more vulnerable to flooding.
But taking advantage of the crisis are several scammers. Florida state agents and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have warned the residents to be wary of such scams, which are duping afflicted people of money.
The intensity of hurricanes is not the only factor that determines their destructiveness. Still, the storm's size, landfall location, and the amount of storm surge are additional essential factors.
Hurricane Idalia generated strong gusts and drove miles of seawater inland, scattering the area with fallen trees, power wires, and debris. Additionally, the storm led to collapsed buildings and significant power disruptions.
Residents can use the Price Gouging Hotline and the No Scam app to report outrageous price rises and frauds connected to recovery efforts.
Qualified contractors can be inaccessible due to rising demand after the storm, which leads to scammers and unqualified workers taking advantage of the residents of Florida with home repairs.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody suggested a few tips while looking for a contractor, including contacting an insurance company for damage evolution, watching out for unsolicited offers, researching companies, checking licenses, and a few more cautions to consider during this period.
After the disaster, Floridians seeking assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be on the lookout for scammers acting as FEMA officials.
According to AG Moody, FEMA relief program applications are free and accessible from Disaster Assistance.gov or by calling 1(800) 621-FEMA.
Neither State nor Federal disaster relief agencies will inquire about residents' personal information, and their workers carry identification and will never accept or ask for cash.
Many good Samaritans are also getting scammed by fake charities. FEMA is advising people to be on the lookout for the following:
Remember to always read the fine print and double-check every company before signing on the dotted line or making any financial transaction.
Be safe, Floridians!