Published: Jul 08, 2011 9:30 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 27, 2012 6:03 PM EDT

HURRICANE CENTRAL - When it comes to hiring someone to fix your home after a hurricane beware! Out-of-state workers tend to flood the state to help, but some of those workers will end up trying to take advantage of you.

After Hurricane Charley, the governor gave local municipalities the right to grant "specialty roofing license" to certain out-of-state and in-state contractors. That gave them the right to operate in Florida. But not all of the workers in the state had permission to be here. Florida has strict licensing rules for contractors and a lot of other professions. In order to be licensed, a contractor has to be bonded and insured, which protects you and your money if something goes wrong.

--Always make sure the person you're hiring is licensed and registered with the state and/or your local municipality to perform the work you're hiring them to do.

--Look for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax id number and business license.

--Ask for references and call those references.

--Get multiple bids before you sign a contract with any company.

--Make sure there's a contract in writing.

--Never pay 100 percent up front and be wary of people asking for big down payments.

--Request a city or county inspection before final payment.

--Be wary of those soliciting work door-to-door.

To check to see if someone is licensed by the state and to see if they've had any complaints, click on the following links:

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Disaster Contractors Network license check