*The following is a blog excerpt from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Click here for the full blog article.
When a catastrophe like Hurricane Harvey happens, your world can be turned upside down. During these tough times, it may be difficult to know who to trust and where to look for guidance and assistance, as well as what financial steps to take as you begin recovering. These are a few organizations that can help immediately after a natural disaster:
Start thinking about your financial obligations once you have addressed your most urgent needs, especially if you have experienced damage to your home or property. We have five steps you can take to help you secure your home and finances:
Warning: Be aware of scams
While many people pull together during times of crisis, there is also an increased risk for scams and fraud. To avoid scams, you need to ask questions—lots of them. Questions will help you determine if something is too good to be true. If the person trying to sell you a product or service can’t or won’t answer your questions, this is a red flag that you might want to look for someone else to do business with.
Thanks once again to several Ethan Allen stores for donating home goods to our ReStore this Summer. In addition to their large donation we just unloaded two trucks worth of goods from Baker College of Flint. Thanks to these organizations for not only helping the Habitat ReStore maintain useful donations but also by keeping items out of the landfill.
As Summer turns to Fall you may want to think about cleaning your outdoor shed or garage one last time to remove those large items so that you can make room for your snow shovel or vehicle before Old Man Winter hits. If you no longer want that patio furniture, slightly used lawnmower or weed whip then now is the time to schedule a free pickup of three or more large items that won’t fit in your vehicle. We’ll be glad to pick them up and put them in ours. And remember all donations are tax deductible.
You may have seen our ReStore has sent out a monthly email blast that is chocked full of the latest items being donated along with discounted items and special coupons. Be sure to click the sign up button so you won’t miss out on fabulous deals. Stop by the ReStore this week and see what’s new and waiting just for you.
From September 11th through September 15th over 200 GM employees from Customer Care and Aftersales (CCA) rolled up their sleeves and got to work at eight different Genesee County Habitat for Humanity work sites throughout Genesee County. In partnership with Habitat staff, the GM Cares team completed shed builds for five different Habitat homes, two veteran repair projects, removed over 14 tons of debris from our duplex project at 603 W Court St., wrapped-up a full-gut home rehab for a disabled veteran, removed brush and debris from along the Flint River Trail, made improvements to our ReStore, and… well, you get the idea by now. Not only does GM care, but GM WORKS! The impact of all this work will reverberate well into the future giving us a great boost into 2018. We are so grateful for all our GM volunteers. Over the past year we have hosted volunteers from CCA, Tool & Die, and Flint Engine Operations. GM volunteers are always hardworking and come with a heart to help. Last week was GM Cares Week but GM truly does care year-round.
Genesee County Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian housing ministry that works to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live.