OKLAHOMA CITY – As wildfires continue to ravage parts of Oklahoma, a state of emergency was declared for 52 counties.
Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency on Friday afternoon for 52 counties due to wildfires that have consumed thousands of acres.
Several hours later, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced that the Emergency Price Stabilization Act is in effect for those counties following that emergency declaration.
The act prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent for the price of goods and services after a state of emergency has been declared. Also, the attorney general may pursue charges against people or businesses that engage in price gouging.
“Wildfires have ravaged more than 200,000 acres across the state and individuals in these areas need our help,” Attorney General Hunter said. “As state officials, we must do all we can to get Oklahomans the resources they need to get through this troubling time. Additionally, as the dry conditions and wildfires continue, I remind individuals to pay attention, listen to media reports and evacuate the area if they are being told they are in danger. We can help replace belongings, but not a life.”
The act will remain in effect throughout the state of emergency and for 30 days after it ends. Also, the act remains in effect for another 180 days for charges for repairs, remodeling and construction.
Experts say you should never pay for an entire job upfront, be suspicious of door-to-door solicitations, ask trustworthy people for a referral and receive several written estimates from different contractors.
If you suspect price gouging, contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.