BBB: Midwest Storm and Tornado Victims Beware

November 20, 2013


CHICAGO, IL - November 19, 2013 - Homeowners and businesses that have been affected by the severe storms and tornadoes on Sunday, November 18th need to be cautious to not become victims of unscrupulous contractors, says the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB).

The intense storms and tornadoes swept through the Midwest, causing at least six deaths and 37 injuries. Homeowners and businesses are devastated by their losses and are in a rush to get their lives back together.

"There will be unethical businesses trying to take advantage of storm victims," said Steve J Bernas, president & CEO of the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "While there is a strong sense of urgency and stress, we encourage consumers and business owners to choose their contractors wisely and not rush into making expensive decisions that could make this hard time worse."

The Better Business Bureau provides a FREE online service called Request a Quote to find local BBB Accredited contractors you can trust at

Here are some tips that should be considered if your home or business has been damaged due to storms:

? Do research - contact the BBB before you hire a contractor and avoid businesses that come to your door with a good deal.
? Request bids from two or three different companies.
? Base all bids on the same criteria.
? Don't automatically pick the lowest bid.
? Do not give into demands to make excessively large down payments and don't make full payment until all the work is done to your satisfaction.
? Determine whether the contractor has the proper insurance.
? Ask to see any required state or local permits or licenses.
? Work with contractors who have a verifiable track record.
? Homeowners should check with local and county units of government to determine if permits or inspections are required.
? Get all estimates in writing.
? In Illinois, for repairs that cost $1000 or more, contractors must provide homeowners with a signed contract.

For further information on hiring a contractor visit

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