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Consumer alert: avoiding scams during hurricane season

Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and wind aren’t the only threat that comes with hurricane season.

With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season underway, Attorney General Jim Hood urges Mississippians to make provisions for possible tropical storms and hurricanes in the upcoming months.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can bring storm surges, flooding, and high winds. These storms have the ability to cause massive destruction for hundreds of miles inland, and General Hood wants to be sure residents are prepared both before and after the storm.

“We are getting the message out now so people can be ready to respond if they are in a hurricane’s path,” said General Hood. “After a storm hits, the recovery process begins immediately, and we want to make sure Mississippians know how to protect their families and their homes from also falling victim to fraud during that time.”

Here are several ways Mississippians can be proactive in preparing for future storm threats:

Assemble an emergency supply kit. Supply this kit with flashlights, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and duplicates of crucial information if evacuation becomes a reality.

Decide which evacuation route would be best for your family by reviewing a hurricane evacuation map, and plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate, supply your home with adequate amounts of food and water in case you lose power for several days. Also consider any special circumstances for individuals with disabilities or the elderly, and plan according to their needs.

Find an emergency notification system for your area. To find these alerts, search the word “alerts” on the internet with your town, city, or county name.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division also has resources available through an online guide for those who fall victim to a storm. The guide includes tips for natural disaster recovery and how to avoid home-repair scams. It also contains a “model contract,” which will help you avoid becoming a victim of home repair fraud.

In the aftermath of any storm, if you suspect home repair fraud or think you may be the victim of a scam, please contact the Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at (601) 359-4230 or (800) 281-4418.

Click here to download the Consumer Tips for Storm Victims guide.

Information provided by Attorney General Jim Hood’s office.

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