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Like myself, many Cincinnati residents are dealing with the aftermath of very strong winds that hit the city yesterday. Trees are down, branches are dangling, and electricity was out for almost a million residents. Although the winds have slowed, there are still many safety issues that Cincinnati residents must be aware of.

Here are some tips for dealing with the clean-up and insurance claims that many are facing:

1. Make sure there are no loose branches or limbs that remain in trees.

2. For those without electricity, do not eat any perishable food items that have been stored below 40 degrees F for more than 2 hours. Frozen items will usually be safe for 24-48 hours.

3. Do not touch any down power lines-assume they are live!

4. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible if you need to make a claim. Take pictures of the damage. Review your policy so you know what is covered. You may be entitled to recover for the loss of landscaping and trees, aside from property damage.

The claims of many Katrina victims were denied by their insurance companies. If you think that your insurance company is wrongfully denying a claim, you should contact an attorney who is experienced in bringing bad faith claims against insurance companies. In many cases, you have paid for the coverage and are entitled to be compensated when a loss occurs.

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