Tornado cleanup: What to know about scams, safety and insurance claims

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 @ 5:30 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 @ 7:14 AM

Footage of the storm damage to Terrace Place in Brookville

If your property suffered tornado damage, here is what you need to know about debris cleanup safety, scams and insurance claims.

>> 5 tornadoes confirmed: Where they touched down and the path they took

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Avoid scammers

“Stop. Don’t react because of the anxiety you have of the mess that’s in your yard or the damage that is done to your property,” said John North, president and CEO of the Dayton BBB. “You have to do your research.”

>> How you can tell if a tree care company is legitimate

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said tree trimming scammers may:

  • Come to your door unexpectedly
  • Want a large down payment
  • Accept only cash or check
  • Drive an unmarked vehicle
  • Fail to notify you of your right to cancel

The BBB is also urging residents to beware of storm chasers of out-of-state contractors soliciting business

>> BBB: Beware of shady contractors, storm chasers during tornado aftermath

Last year, home improvement scams, especially ones that go door-to-door, was listed in the top five riskiest scams, according to the BBB.

>> BBB’s top 5 riskiest scams of 2018

Handle debris, cleanup safely

On Tuesday, area hospitals treated at least 130 people sustained injuries related to the storm. The number of injured patients rose throughout the day.

Kettering Health Network hospitals said the increase in patients Tuesday was due to people sustaining injuries while cleaning up tornado damage.

>> Tornado damage cleanup causing increase in injuries, hospital official says

Before you pull out the chainsaw, remember there are some safety tips you need to follow. A chainsaw has more power per inch than most other tools, which requires extra attention to safety.

>> SAFETY TIPS: Using a chainsaw safely for downed trees

If you come across downed power lines, assume they are live. 

>> What you need to do if you come across downed wires

Insurance claims

If your home or vehicle was damaged in the storms Monday, AAA is offering the following tips:

Homeowner insurance claims

  • Inspect your home for damage then notify your insurance company as soon as possible 
  • Prepare an inventory and take photographs of damaged property 
  • Store undamaged property in a protected place if possible 
  • Cover broken windows and other holes to prevent further damage 
  • If power is out, disconnect all computers and appliances from electrical sources 
  • Be present when the adjuster inspects your damage

Auto insurance claims

  • Take photos of any visible damage 
  • Any vehicle sustaining damage should be fully inspected before being allowed back on the road

>> MORE on home insurance, auto insurance storm coverage 

Debris removal

Greene County has released several ways residents can dispose of storm debris.

>> Greene County offers tips on disposing of storm generated material

In Montgomery County, residents can drop off yard waste at the Solid Waste District, 1001 Encrete Ln. in Moraine from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Contractors can drop off debris at $36 per ton.

Yard waste should be free of other trash and debris.