Derecho Response Information

Crisis Counseling

  • For 24/7 disaster crisis counseling, call Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985 Daily from 5-10 PM non-crisis and confidential listening, call Iowa Warm Line at 1-844-775-9276

Tips For Hiring Tree Service Service

  • Verify the contractor is properly insured
  • Always get a written estimate before work begins
  • Do not pay upfront
  • No permits required for tree removal / trimming service

Tips To Help Avoid Contractor Fraud

Be aware of the potential for contractor fraud. Storm-chaser scams have exploded in recent years and usually target traumatized homeowners and senior citizens.

  • If you do not have a reliable contractor you have used in the past, ask your insurer to survey the damage and recommend approved contractors before hiring any post- disaster contractor. Provide your insurer with contractor licenses, written estimates and scope of work in detail.
  • Ask your relatives, neighbors and friends who have had good experiences with contractors. Do not hire someone who is just walking from door to door; good ones do not need to solicit work.
  • Be wary of anyone who lists a P.O. Box instead of a street address or does not have a local phone number or in-state license plates. Get everything in writing on letterhead (estimates, materials, prices, completion dates). Never sign a blank contract.
  • Check any potential contractors out online and vet the company. See if they have a website and social media pages and check customer reviews online. Ask for a list of recent projects they have completed in the area and, if possible, email other homeowners who have worked with the contractors before to get their testimonials.
  • Watch what you sign.
  • Professionals pull permits. Be wary of contractors who offer to do their work without proper permitting and inspection. Permits are required by law.
  • Get more than one bid on work, so you know if you are being overcharged. Be wary of large upfront payment requirements. Wait until the repair work is completed to your satisfaction before making the final payment. Do not pay cash or write a check up front.