The best, worst of Irene

Published 12:41 am Thursday, September 1, 2011

As unpredictable as hurricanes tend to be, you can always count on the best and worst of mankind to surface following a storm.

Such is the case with Hurricane Irene. While most put the welfare of others before themselves, some are only interested in helping themselves at the expense of others.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper indicates there are three broad categories of scams following a disaster: fake contractors who promise everything yet do little or nothing; fake charity telemarketers who prey on emotions to make a quick buck; and legitimate businesses that resort to price gouging on high-demand items such as generators, gasoline, hotel rooms and ice.

The N.C. Department of Justice offers some sound consumer protection tips on its website

If you encounter a charlatan, you can file a complaint by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free from anywhere in North Carolina. Cooper indicates the state has been receiving some calls.

Fortunately, we see more of the best along the road to recovery.

In addition to the volunteers at the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, there are others who deserve recognition. The Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort County is offering assistance to residents within the city limits of Washington. Washington residents who need assistance should call 252-940-0139 to request help.

There are countless others deserving acknowledgement for unselfishly giving their best to eastern North Carolina this week. We regret that we are not able to mention them all in this space, but know that their efforts are greatly appreciated.