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Hurricane Ida is Looming; Documentation Before the Storm is Paramount

— August 27, 2021

For the full list of steps to take before and after a storm, visit the WMC Storm & Insurance Claim Preparation page at

With Hurricane Ida threatening the Gulf coast, residents are wondering what to do to prepare their homes for the impact of the storm.

Installing shutters and securing your property’s exterior are important, but Jim Hood, Counsel for disaster recovery law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley, says documentation may be critical.

Insurance companies have been systemically underpaying hurricane claims and will use every excuse in the book to avoid paying for damages after the storm.

“As Mississippi Attorney General after Katrina, I saw firsthand how devastated homeowners, business owners and local governments were at the mercy of their insurance companies, which used their adjusters, engineers and lawyers to stack the deck in their favor.” said Jim Hood, now counsel at the D.C. based law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley (WMC).

Hood explained WMC has developed a checklist to help storm victims (homeowners, business owners, churches and local governments) make sure insurance companies don’t deny policyholders the full amount they are owed.

New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina. Public domain image by tpsdave.

“We have posted a guide on our website to avoid scam artists, such as out-of-state tree trimmers, roofers and contractors, who also prey upon storm victims.”

WMC also suggests the following initial steps to properly document storm damage claims.

  1. Take photos and video of all rooms, the sides of your property and any personal items.
  2. Store photos on a portable device and/or in the cloud for easy access.
  3. If you have time to evacuate, take files containing your insurance policies with you.
  4. Place plywood or waferboard over any windows and doors and take photos whenever possible because some insurance policies require you to take some precautionary measures.
  5. Take photos and report any price gouging to your state’s Attorney General.

For the full list of steps to take before and after a storm, visit the WMC Storm & Insurance Claim Preparation page at


WMC is one of the nation’s premier policyholder-side insurance recovery firms and was named by the National Law Journal as one of the ten hottest litigation firms in the country. For more info, visit WMC has offices in Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jackson, MS and San Juan, PR. WMC’s Mississippi office is located at 1022 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 203, Ridgeland, MS 39157 and may be reached at 601-803-4059.

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