In the event of a natural disaster, we would like to remind Floridians that any repair work performed on a home or business should be completed by a licensed professional.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) is teaming up with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to celebrate National Hurricane Preparedness Week by encouraging Floridians to create a plan that outlines what to do before, during and after a hurricane.
In the event of a natural disaster, we would like to remind Floridians that any repair work performed on a home or business should be completed by a licensed professional. Unlicensed contractors will often travel from out of state to a disaster area in an attempt to take advantage of uninformed consumers. The best way to prepare is to be proactive in selecting a properly licensed contractor and to use good judgment with sales calls, door-to-door pitches or low prices that appear too good to be true.
Both BBB and DBPR have online resources to prepare consumers:
- BBB’s Florida Hurricane Guide (www.bbb.org/west-florida/hurricanes) provides a one-stop resource page to help Florida’s consumers, businesses and nonprofits prepare for hurricane season which runs June 1st to Nov 30th. Within this guide, you will find tips on disaster preparedness, recovery and repair, how to avoid storm chaser scams, giving wisely to disaster relief charities and additional government resources.
- BBB provides information on how to find a properly licensed professional, including an easy to use checklist. Resources to help businesses build trust in the marketplace are also available at www.bbb.org/west-florida/licensing.
- Consumers can verify professional licenses that fall under DBPR’s jurisdiction by visiting www.myfloridalicense.com, calling (850) 487-1395 or by downloading the free DBPR Mobile app available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
- DBPR’s 2016 Natural Disaster Guide provides steps to prevent consumers from becoming victims of unlicensed activity after a natural disaster.
- Disaster victims should never feel pressured to make a decision by an unknown contractor. Start with trust and look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal. For reliable information, lists of BBB Accredited Businesses by industry and BBB Business Reviews you can trust on local businesses, visit www.bbb.org or call (727) 535-5522. Always verify a contractor’s license by visiting www.myfloridalicense.com, calling (850) 487-1395 or by downloading the free DBPR Mobile app.