Tips for homeowners ahead of Hurricane Sandy

Seven On Your Side
October 26, 2012 2:54:45 PM PDT
It was nearly 14 months ago, Irene caused nearly six billion in property and flood damage.

But there are steps you should take now that can save you big bucks and a lot of headaches.

Friday, the street in front of John Leban's home is bone dry.

What he's afraid of is a repeat of last year.

"That's pretty bad, I want to head for high ground," Leban said.

Flood waters from Hurricane Irene submerged his property with salty water from Rockaway Bay.

But this time, days before the first drop of rain, John's building a water proof barrier to keep the water out.

"I'm blockading the garage and the lower areas so if we do get the surge it'll stop the water from getting into the house," Leban said.

He's also moving anything that can float or blow away to higher ground, away from water and wind.

"How do you fight Mother Nature? You just do what you can to prepare yourselves," Leban said.

Last year after Irene, 7 On Your Side threw John a lifeline when an insurance discrepancy cost him coverage and stuck him with a $14,000 bill.

7 On Your Side helped him get paid.

But this time, before the storm hits, John's being proactive and reviewing his coverage to make sure it's right.

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Also, experts say now's an excellent time to take pictures and video of your home's interior and exterior, to take an inventory before wind or flood damage.

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Also, it may be common sense, but move your car to safer place on higher ground.

25% of all auto insurance policies don't include comprehensive, and that means in the event of flood you'll have no coverage.

It is unfortunately necessary to remind consumers of the ugly truth that disasters often attract con artists and frauds.

Beware of scam like:

- Gas Price Gouging, in many states, illegal in a state of emergency, report any excessive price hikes to your states consumer affairs department.

- Be wary of home repair scams, remember reputable companies are busy after a storm, they're not out soliciting and asking for cash deposit up front.

- and don't fall for fraudulent charity solicitations. You may get a knock on your door or a telemarketing call asking for help for victims, investigate before you donate.



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