MADISON, Wis. -

Consumer advocates are encouraging storm victims to take their time and do their research before committing to a contractor to fix their homes.

"Recognizing this is a really emotional time, and you're in panic mode and you want to get it fixed right away. It puts you in this emotional decision-making state, which isn't always great for good consumer decisions," said Kimberly Hazen, director of the Southwest Chapter of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.

Hazen said consumers should ask anyone doing work at their home a series of questions: Do you have a door-to-door permit, as required by Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development? Do you have valid insurance? Where's your office located? Can I see a valid driver's license? Can we sign a contract clearly stating out what the parameters of the work will be?

"A good company, a good person you're going to deal with will not be afraid of all of your questions," Hazen said. "The people you want to work with will be happy to answer those questions."