Radio PSA Scripts: Post-Disaster Advice on Hiring a Contractor

Disaster Response
Contact: Anna Briseno
Senior Director, External Communications
(202) 266-8132

These radio public service announcement (PSA) scripts provide a template for HBAs to warn consumers of unscrupulous contractors following a disaster. Four options are provided based on the length of the PSA.

PSA #1: Pulling Together

Length: 0:60

We can be proud that neighbors in our area have pulled together to help each other after our recent [insert type of disaster]. Now, it’s time to pull together again as we try to rebuild our lives and our homes. On behalf of the [insert HBA name], we’d like to warn you about another potential disaster: unscrupulous contractors.

Beware of these warning signs:

  • You’re told that on this job, a contract “won’t be necessary.
  • You’re asked to pay for the entire job “up front”—or pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.
  • You are confronted with scare tactics.
  • You’re told you’ve been “chosen” as a demonstration project at a special, low price.
  • You’re told a low price is good only if you sign a contract today.
  • The contractor won’t give you references—or the references can’t be located.
  • You can’t verify the contractor’s business address.

If a contractor you feel is not being upfront has contacted you, please contact the [insert HBA name] for a list of reliable contractors. They can be reached at [insert phone number].

PSA #2: Fly-by-Nighters

Length: 0:30

The [insert HBA name] feels a special bond with its neighbors whose homes have been damaged by the [insert type of disaster].

As you begin repairing your home, please consider some important advice: Before you hire a contractor, do some homework.

  • Find out if the firm has a permanent business address and a good reputation.
  • Insist on a complete and clearly written contract.
  • DO ask for references and DO NOT pay cash up front.
  • Call the [insert HBA name] for a list of reliable contractors.

No one could stop the [insert type of disaster] — but a fly-by-night contractor is one disaster you can prevent.

PSA #3: Rebuild

Length: 0:15

As you begin to repair your homes after the [insert type of disaster] — don’t let another disaster strike. Make sure your contractor is on the level. Verify the company’s business address and references.

Insist on a contract and DON’T pay cash up front. The [insert HBA name] can help you find a reliable contractor.

Call them at [insert phone number].

PSA #4: Don’t Settle

Length: 0:15

Our community’s experienced builders and remodelers are among the best in the nation. As you begin the process of repairing your home after the [insert type of disaster]—don’t settle for second best.

For a list of reliable contractors, contact the [insert HBA name] at [insert phone number].