As the hurricane season gets underway, it’s time to tap into your inner scout and "be prepared." Your preparation for weather extremes or other natural disasters of course involves securing your windows, roof, or basement, but it also requires you to organize your financial papers. The Federal Trade Commission – the nation's consumer protection agency – has useful information on where to start, and how to minimize disruption once a storm has passed. Its one-stop site – ftc.gov/hurricanerecovery – has practical guidance on how to weather a storm and its related surges, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding, as well as how to get your financial and insurance documents ready.
Being prepared also means knowing what to watch out for after a disaster.
Ftc.gov/hurricanerecovery offers tips on avoiding the home repair rip-offs, bogus charities, and other scams that inevitably follow in a hurricane’s wake, as well as links to other organizations with important information.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.