TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins today and Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking Floridians to be prepared. As a peninsula state with warm waters, Florida is especially vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes, and Attorney General Bondi is encouraging citizens to review her 2018 Hurricane Preparedness Guide to prepare for a storm or common scams that could arise in the aftermath.
“During the past two hurricane seasons, multiple storms struck Florida leaving debris and flooding throughout our state. I am calling on all Floridians to start preparing for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season now, to protect family and property,” said Attorney General Bondi. “My Hurricane Preparedness Guide provides a detailed checklist of items you will need in the event a hurricane strikes near you.”
The guide includes information about how to avoid scams before and after a storm, a full supply list and other important preparation tips. Some of the most common storm-related scams to watch out for include tree-removal scams, building repair scams, debris-removal scams, disaster relief scams and water testing and treatment scams.
Below are some tips from the guide:
- Be on the lookout for price gouging. Florida law bans the unconscionable increase in prices in the rental or sale of essential commodities such as lumber, ice, water, generators and shelter once a state of emergency has been declared;
- Be familiar with evacuation routes, and stock up on food, water and emergency supplies;
- Proceed with caution if a product claims to be hurricane-proof or impact-proof;
- Be wary of any contractor who approaches unsolicited or offers to perform repairs at a discount with leftover supplies from another job; and
- Know that numerous charities crop up after natural disasters. Some of these charities are legitimate, while others are run by scam artists looking to profit off of the goodwill of others.
For more tips, view the Attorney General’s 2018 Hurricane Guide here.
Floridians who suspect a scam or would like to report an incident of price gouging should call (866) 9-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.