After a storm or disaster, you will need to be aware of several things.  Since every disaster is unique, and every damage scenario is different, we cannot list everything on this one web site.  However, there are some specific things you will need to know and keep in mind.  If you do have a situation which is not covered here, please contact your local emergency management officials.

Sample News Release

PUBLIC WATER MAY BE CONTAMINATED

DATELINE – Residents of (town/county) are cautioned not to drink the public water without purifying it first.  (The sewer lines have broken) or (The water processing plant has lost power for a short time) causing the water treatment process to be shut down.  Until the system has been checked for contamination, the water is unsafe to drink.

There are two ways to clean your water.   The first method, boiling, is the safest way to purify water.  Bring water to a rolling boil for three to five minutes.  Keep in mind that some of the water will evaporate, so boil more than is needed.  Let the water cool before drinking it.   To improve the boiled water taste, add oxygen to it by pouring it back and forth between two clean containers.

The second way to purify water is to use regular household bleach.  Scented and “Colorsafe” bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners are toxic and should not be used!!!  Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water and let stand for 30 minutes.  If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.

These purification methods will work to decontaminate water for drinking, washing, and cooking.  Please use them before drinking any public water that might be contaminated.

Insurance and Contractor Tips for Rebuilding

Take the following steps to ensure effective repairs on your damaged property:

  • Adjusters are required to properly identify themselves and, if requested, show you the license issued by the NC Department of Insurance.
  • If you feel the settlement offered by your insurer is not fair or complete, contact the company to provide additional information to support your claim.
  • You are not required to use the contractor the insurance company recommends.
  • You should use reliable, licensed contractors.
  • Get a written estimate and read the fine print. Deal with a local contractor if possible.
  • You should ask for references.
  • Make sure the contractor carries general liability insurance and workers� compensation.
  • Obtain a complete contract that states the tasks to be performed and all associated costs including, if applicable, costs for permits or licenses.
  • Ask for a written guarantee stating who is responsible for equipment and materials.
  • Avoid on-the-spot cash payments. The safest route is to write a check made out to the contracting company.
  • If you need to cancel a contract, cancellation should be done within three business days of signing. Be sure to follow the agreements stated in the cancellation clauses and send the notification by registered mail.
  • If excavation work is being performed, make sure a qualified inspector approves the work before it is hidden from view.
  • If you want to confirm that a public adjuster is licensed or have questions about the adjuster�s actions, you can call the Agent Services Division of the NC Department of Insurance at 919-733-4787.
  • If you have problems with a contractor or have been the victim of fraud, you are urged to contact your local Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section at 919-716-6000.
  • You can call 1-800-546-5664, the Consumer Services Division of the NC Department of Insurance, with questions or concerns about your insurance coverage.