Who Will We Hire After the Hurricane?

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  • Author Hgrbs Nonprofit
  • Published November 18, 2020
  • Word count 728

[Whether hurricane or graded tropical storms, there are always several things in variation. If we can DIY, we do as much of that as we can. But often, we need professional assistance. That will come at a price, one way or another.]

*Like A Hurricane

Before we delve into the meat of this matter of our decision to hire, let us for a moment talk hurricanes. If not for them, we may not be so anxious to call in the building tradespersons to rebuild or restore our homes to habitability.

If we live in hurricane-prone regions, especially anywhere near the northern tips of the Gulf of Mexico, southeastern Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, or any given area of Florida, and all along the Atlantic Seaboard, it is a given that we KNOW a “hurricane.”

We also know that despite what is dubbed “hurricane season” officially begins in June, we cannot always depend on that schedule. Sometimes they pop up like hurricanes Arthur and Bertha in May as they did in 2020. Then there was Hurricane Laura, August 21, 2020, the first significant hurricane of the regular season (a Category 4).

*In the Aftermath

Massive flooding, fallen or pulverized trees, disheveled rooftops, scattered and splintered siding, shattered windows, twisted, torn window screens, battered motor vehicles, debris floating in the receding waters, mangled homes, etc. Pure disaster.

It is enough to see what has happened to our neighborhood and our own houses. We need help. Our first thought may be:

“ I don’t care who it is. We need help getting things back in order!”

It is desperation creeping through the door. Pretty soon, it becomes part of our emotional being. Despair makes us easy prey for dishonest people, “disaster chasers,” who know our distress. They hardly ever look the part. Instead, they appear trustworthy. Although we may initially decline offers made by building tradespersons who drop by, we are not really over our anxiety to get things back to normal as soon as we can. Inevitably, many of us create a reason for finally giving in to the contractor who “looks” or “sounds” most honorable.

But did we know most reported home frauds are successful because the victims relied primarily on how their predators appeared or spoke? Would it also help to mention in these cases, where scandalized individual homeowners relied more on contractors’ presentation than on his/her documented reputation, they hired an individual or company they barely knew? To top that off, they even released down payments and, in some cases, granted the contractor the right to file home insurance claims for them. In the end, these residents received nothing but either incomplete work – or none. They are now worse off than before making the uninformed hiring decision.

*A True Story

There was a report released in late October 2020, which is only a semblance of the degree where homeowners of hurricane disasters are vulnerable to the corrupt element of contractors. In this case, a building trades duo offered to make extensive repairs on a resident’s roof. As a condition, they required a combined $13,000 – upfront.

What is significant is that it was right on the heels of Hurricane Laura. It is also important to note how much the homeowner trusted them to do the right thing. We can imagine how awful he must have felt learning he was twice victimized: first by the hurricane, then by a couple of unscrupulous contractors. They took the money but reportedly have done not much else but disappear. (KTBS-3-abc; 10/29/2020). Who will “we” hire?

*Summary

At this time, there are similar cases in progress with homeowners who have experienced varying damage from Hurricanes Sally, Delta, and Zeta. Prior ones (in no particular order) such as Harvey, Michael, and others are forgotten by those who are not still waiting to be refunded by contract criminals. Most never see their money again. Doubtless, these unfortunate residents are reminded daily by the discomfort they still feel over skipping the most critical point in collaborating with unknown contractors: documentation of their trustworthiness to deliver.

*Readers interested in learning more about bettering our contractor hiring priorities can download this free HGRBS homeowner’s guide: “Roving Phantoms in the Aftermath of Disaster.”

There is no sign-up. Open-source access. [link provided in Resource Box ahead]

“Better Decisions, Better Results.”

Comments always welcome.

Edited with special assistance from S. Swanson

Public Courtesy – HGRBS – Since 2009

Roving Phantoms: https://www.hgrbs-flagship.com/resident-strategic-studies.php

HGRBS Flagship - https://www.hgrbs-flagship.com

*HGRBS, a national volunteer nonprofit, exclusive consumer information service with an emphasis on supporting self-empowerment among U.S. private home decision-makers. Special focus is on sharing related information enabling residents to make the safest and wisest decisions in resident-contractor relations.

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