- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

DELMONT, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota organizations aiming to aid residents of the tornado-ravaged town of Delmont are encouraging those affected to utilize all the resources available to them.

Scott Swier of the Swier Law Firm in Avon and Jesse Hall of the Lutheran Social Services met with about 50 Delmont residents Thursday night to discuss how people can help themselves recover.

The May 10 tornado damaged or destroyed 84 structures in and around Delmont and injured nine people.

Hall, a credit and housing counselor with Lutheran Social Services in Sioux Falls, said people affected by a disaster often regret not using all the help that’s available.

“One of the biggest mistakes I hear people say they made after a disaster is they wish they would have taken the help and resources that were available,” Hall said. “Hopefully, people know now if they have any general questions they want to meet with somebody about, they don’t have to be on their own.”

Swier offered free insurance analysis to anyone who feels insurance companies haven’t given them a fair shake. He said one of his attorneys will visit with any Delmont resident and review their insurance policy to determine if the insurance company is handling the situation correctly, and if the resident has received a fair amount of money for what they lost.

“Insurance companies’ primary role, we think, should be to help us. If we pay premiums through a certain number of years and something happens like what happened here, then our insurance company should step up and give us what we think we paid for,” he said. “Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.”

Hall said Lutheran Social Services is working with residents to help them figure out how to get important documents back that may have been destroyed, like wedding and birth certificates, driver’s licenses and credit cards.

“We’ll talk to these people about what resources might be available to help them and discuss the pros and cons of any decision,” Hall said. “We don’t tell them what decision to make, we help them weigh their options.”

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Information from: The Daily Republic, https://www.mitchellrepublic.com


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