Posted: September 11, 2017
In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scams.
“Seeing or hearing about the devastation caused by a natural disaster evokes our sympathies and our desire to help those affected,” Carr’s office wrote in a news release Monday night. “Unfortunately, scammers realize this and do not hesitate to take advantage of people’s heightened emotions. They may pose as reputable charities soliciting donations and target consumers through unsolicited emails, telemarketing calls or by knocking on their doors. They often create legitimate-looking websites that have similar names as actual charities, sometimes even using the actual logo of a reputable relief organization.”
Below is a list of recommendations to make sure you are donating to a legitimate charity:
Home Repair Fraud
Following a weather-related emergency, scammers often show up offering to help with tree removal and home repair work.
The attorney general’s office advises consumers to do business with local firms that are well-established and whose references can be checked.
“Do not give individuals money upfront based upon the promise that they will be back to do the work,” the office said.
Below are more suggestions for things to do before you hire someone to do home repairs:
Scammers may also try to steal your money by posing as a representative from an insurance company,
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Association or a law enforcement agency.
Don’t give out personal or financial information to someone you don’t know.
Remember that the services offered by FEMA and SBA are free, so if a “representative” asks you for payment, it’s a scam.
One couple didn't let Hurricane Irma stop their wedding plans.
Jennifer Johansen and Paulo Castro got married in downtown Jacksonville on Saturday -- as bands of strong wind and rain battered Jacksonville ahead of Hurricane Irma.
The couple invited WJAX to their ceremony.
Their first kiss as husband and wife was broadcast live.
Search and rescue operations continue in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Authorities worked to restore communication with the island residents and began work Monday on reopening the single highway that connects the islands to the mainland.
Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday evening. By Tuesday, it was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. At least 17 people have died in the contiguous U.S.
Power is beginning to be restored in Florida and Georgia.
>>Minute-by-minute updates to this post have ceased. For the latest Hurricane Irma news:
JACKSONVILLE - ActionNewsJax
PALM BEACH - Palm Beach Post
ATLANTA - WSBTV
ATLANTA - AJC
A scuba diver who was reported missing as Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida was rescued Sunday afternoon, according to Riviera Beach Fire Rescue.
The rescue was captured on video by someone in a nearby condominium. In the video, the scuba diver struggles to hold on to the rope but is finally rescued and transported to a shelter, where he was reported in good condition.
There are more than 2,000 alligators living in Gatorland, and caretakers have prepped them for the Hurricane Irma’s powerful punch.
Mike Hileman, who works at Gatorland in Orlando, told Channel 9 reporter Karla Ray that they were ready for the storm.
“The alligators, they’re doing what they do. They’ve been fighting these things for about 65 million years. They don’t really have any preferences,” Hileman said.
Hileman said the gators will likely take breaths and sit at the bottom of the lake.
“We have 6-and 8-foot fences that take care of all the enclosures inside the park, and then there is another 8-foot fence that goes all the way around Gatorland property,” he said.
Ray asked whether there was any concern about the possibility of a gator escaping during the storm.
“Even if a tree falls in an enclosure, and an alligator was to come out of the enclosure, we still have all those fences that they would have to navigate through. So, we’re not losing any gators,” Hileman said.
Hileman said residents shouldn’t worry about their gators roaming around town.
“If you see an alligator swimming on the street, it’s not ours,” he said.
Gatorland also houses furry creatures, such as raccoons and bobcats. Hileman said those animals will be taken to a secure building.
They prepared for the worst. Or, at least they tried.
Dozens of shoppers who were depending on Amazon and Nestle’s ReadyRefresh said they didn’t get their storm-supply orders in time, The Associated Press reported.
Maya Kogul ordered three cases of water through Nestle’s ReadyRefresh before the storm made landfall. But the much-needed water never came.
Others didn’t get flashlights, battery-operated radios, boxed milk, water and first-aid kits from either Nestle’s or online retail giant, Amazon, the AP reported.
Amazon said that it was experiencing delays due to the weather. ReadyRefresh apologized via Twitter for delays.
Other customers said they received order cancellations after evacuations started and brick-and-mortar store shelves were already emptied of supplies.
Amazon was directing delivery complaints to UPS, which said it had suspended operations and that it delayed orders meant to be delivered either Thursday or Friday, the AP reported.
UPS will waive fees for rerouting packages to areas not under evacuations.
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