Storm Recovery Information and Resources
As warmer temperatures are on the way, there may be a few surprises for business and residence owners. Leaks from pipes that have frozen and burst, water heaters damaged, drywall and ceiling damages, etc. may be discovered as the frozen pipes begin to thaw. Those that are not DIYers will likely seek out a plumber and/or contractor to fix the issues. Just like with other types of disasters, there are scams and those that will try to take advantage of people. Some may claim to be qualified to do the repairs but may not provide the quality of service you would expect.
Tips in Selecting Reputable Contractors
- Ask family and friends you trust who they used and if they were happy with the service provided. After September 1st, 2019, some plumbers in Texas are not required to be licensed or registered. Certain contractors do not require a general contractor license. This means anyone can call themselves a plumber or contractor. Talking to others that have had to use repair services can help weed out possible bad experiences.
- When you schedule the repair appointment, ask the company the name of the person you should expect to show up. They should be properly identified when they arrive to do the work. It’s okay to ask for identification and/or a business card. Remember, if they are not family or a friend, you are letting a stranger into your home or business.
- Ask for an estimate. It may be an emergency and needs to be fixed quickly, but a good plumber or contractor should be able to give you an idea of how much it may cost.
- Start looking for a repair service before you need one so you will be ready and know who to call if an emergency arises.
- If you have insurance, filing a claim with your insurance company will ensure that the insurance company uses reliable, vetted contractors and service providers.
- Another great resource is the Texas Department of Insurance website, tdi.texas.gov. There are tips to help start the claim process, pick a contractor, and report price gouging.
Contractors Registered With The City
Turning Off Water To Your Home
Anytime temperatures drop below freezing, there is always a chance that pipes freeze as well. As pipes begin to thaw, pressure caused by the water can begin to rush through the pipe and could cause pipes to break. We urge you to learn how to shut your water off yourself as quickly as possible in the event of a burst pipe or leak to minimize damage. Read this guide to learn how to shut the water off to your home.
Turning Off Electricity To Your Home
In the event of a water or gas leak, it's important to know how to shut off the electricity at your residence. The two key factors in knowing how to do this is to know where your breaker box is and how to identify the correct switches within the box. You can follow this short guide on how to shut the electricity off at your residence.
Report Your Damage
Emergency Management professionals use a variety of sources to gather data related to the damage that individual residents and business owners are facing. One very successful tool from past disasters is this survey: https://arcg.is/uOrOb.
If you have damage from this storm, please report it using the survey above. As explained on the survey, it is not a replacement for contacting your insurance provider and not a guarantee for government or FEMA assistance. However, it is a very important and necessary part of gathering needed data to understand the degree of the damage at local levels.