If your home was damaged by the storm, don't fall prey to scam companies offering to do repairs.

• Check with the state Department of Labor and Industry to verify that the contractor has a license.

• Call the department at 1-800-342-5354 or visit www.tinyurl.com/m3uc2x.

• If the contractor is operating in Minneapolis, the city might require a license. Check by calling (612) 673-3001.

• The Minnesota attorney general's office says to make sure that you have a written contract with specifics about materials and completion dates. Don't pay the total up front, and be aware that once you turn over insurance money, it is difficult to get back.

• The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota advises consumers to get the BBB's "Reliability Reports" on any company they might hire. The reports are available at www.thefirstbbb.org or by calling 651-699-1111, or toll-free at 1-800-646-6222. The organization also cautions home owners to wait before making permanent repairs, since your insurance company might not fully reimburse you.