The powerful tornado that hit outside of Laramie and the surrounding rural areas the afternoon of June 6th caused considerable damage to homes and property in the area, according to information from the Albany County Sheriff's Facebook page.

While officials from the National Weather Service, Emergency Management, and other agencies are assessing the damage, Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Tom Glause is advising people to contact their insurance agents as soon as possible.

Here's more information from the page, with tips to consider after any violent storm:

  • Assess the damage to your home and other buildings.
  • Check trees, shrubs and plants around your home. If they are stripped of their foliage, there is a possibility that your roof is damaged too.
  • Avoid ANY down power lines.
  • Check your car for damage, dents and broken or cracked glass.
  • Protect your property from further damage. Cover broken windows and holes in your roof so that no water can enter and damage your home’s interior.
  • Cover broken glass in your car to prevent damage to the interior from rain.
  • Document and photograph the damage before cleaning it up, if possible.
  • File your claim. Call your agent or company as soon as you notice damage. Most homeowner’s policies cover storm damage. Your car will be covered if you have comprehensive auto coverage.

Commissioner Glause is also reminding residents that after a natural disaster, repair personnel often go from door-to door in damaged neighborhoods, offering clean-up or repair services. He says some of the business people are reputable, but some may not be and the dishonest ones may take your money without completing the job or use inferior materials and perform work that's not up to code.

  • Get more than one estimate and don't be pushed into signing a contract right away.
  • Get everything in writing. You will need details on the work to be done, materials, time schedule, guarantees, and cost.
  • Ask for a payment schedule. Other expectations should be detailed and in writing.
  • Demand references and check them out.
  • Ask to see the contractor’s driver’s license. Write down the number along with the vehicle plate number.
  • Ask for proof of bonding/liability insurance, and the contractor’s business card. It should have a verifiable street address and office phone number.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks. Unacceptable terms could be added to incomplete forms.
  • Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished.
  • Insurance coverage may be rendered void if intentional misrepresentation by the policy holder is discovered.

If you have more questions, you can contact the Wyoming Department of Insurance at 1-800-438-5768. More information is also available on the Department’s website at: http://doi.wyo.gov.