Disaster Resources

This is an on-line resource made available by the Home Builders Association of Greater Peoria.

Use the Member List or Members by Category links to view a current list of builder and supplier members.

When Disaster Strikes...

Unfortunately, disasters like fires, floods and tornadoes strike individual homes, neighborhoods and entire communities in the Midwest regularly. If they ever involve you and your family, it's important for you not to make uninformed, impulse decisions related to home repair or rebuilding. Here are some thoughts about the process of rebuilding:

Stay Calm

When a disaster affects you personally, it's important for you to be strong and lead your family through this difficult time. Seek out help and support from friends and neighbors as soon as possible. Accept help from others when you need it. Don't make rash decisions under pressure.

Contact Your Insurance Agent BEFORE You Hire any Contractors

Most insurance carriers have a claims center that can be contacted by phone at any time, day or night, any day of the week. Seek out their advice and recommendations of what you should do next - especially if professional help is needed for clean-up and repairs.

Be Aware of the Red Flags in Repair/Rebuilding Fraud

In every natural disaster that occurs in the U.S., homeowners unwittingly before victims again to fraud. Areas experiencing catastrophic damage are often inundated by people outside of the local area who may represent themselves as helpful, knowledgeable contractors ... but have come to the area to make fast money. In many instances the scope of their work will provide you with cheap and fast repair for a low cash price. The reality of the situation is that they are here to make easy money and then move on. Remember the old adage, "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is."

  • You should always be able to verify the business address of a contractor through local resources ... internet searches, business listings, friends and family recommendations
  • Be wary of contractors asking for cash up front, payment in full up front, or special prices that are "only good if you sign today"
  • The contractor should be able to provide you with references of previous customers
  • There should ALWAYS be a written agreement between the homeowner and the contractor that specifically outlines deposit monies, the final job price, and the scope of the work to be done for that price. Many times the contract can also provide an anticipated time frame for the completion of the work.

Secure Your Property & Recover/Remove Valuables.

Even in these dark times, looters can make things worse. If necessary, consider renting a storage unit nearby or have a mobile storage unit brought to your site that you can load. If the damage is too great or the area is too dangerous, seek the help of select professionals through recommendations from your insurance agent, family members, friends, etc. Never work with anyone that tries to pressure you or wants to be paid a big percentage up-front.

Prevent Further Damage.

It's very important for you not to ignore structures that are repairable. Make a detailed sweep of your home/property to make sure you can prevent additional damage from exposure to the elements. Consult with your insurance agent to see if they have specific recommendations or procedures. Tarps, ropes, plywood and other items you may need can be purchased quickly at most discount and hardware stores. Again, it's very important to be safe and consider professional help if it's needed at this time.

Make Informed Decisions Related to Repair Contracts & Costs

Always be cautious when you're vulnerable and upset. Don't let the clock or someone outside your circle of family and friends compromise your financial future. Talk to recommended contractors and make sure they understand how to work with your insurance company related to timelines, payments, etc. Also, don't be surprised if your basic homeowners insurance isn't enough to cover the actual costs for certain major repairs. If you find yourself unable to make your home identical to what it looked like before the damage, set a dollar amount to spend on quality repairs that make sense for your financial situation. Doing so may require some tough design and style decisions. However, don't just choose the contractor with the lowest price based on price alone. Be comfortable with the entire scenario being proposed by each contractor you plan to hire.

Begin the Repairs

If your home was severely damaged, it's possible that weeks or even months will have gone by before you reach this point. Continue to be strong and work with reputable people. When you're working with hired contractors, you can do your part to keep the work flowing by making selections in a timely manner for things like windows, doors, shingles, siding, cabinets, plumbing/lighting fixtures, flooring, etc.

Members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Peoria are residents of the area and have knowledge of local regulations and building codes. They are established businesses looking to help you rebuild your home and provide you with the products and services you need to get your home back together. Visit the member section of this web site for more details.

Press Releases/Media Resources:

Press Release regarding home repair fraud

Full text of Illinois Public Act 97-0235 regarding "storm chaser" laws and regulations

Press Release from Illinois Attorney General's Office regarding "storm chasers"

Emergency Resources:

State of Illinois - Emergency Management Agency

Illinois Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Hotline - 1-800-386-5438

American Red Cross - Get Help

American Red Cross - Central Illinois Chapter Home Page