The true impact – financial or otherwise of the devastating tornadoes that tore through Kentucky and several other Midwestern states won’t be known for months, perhaps even years. Homes, offices, churches, and in some cases, even entire towns were flattened by the twisters that ripped across a wide swath of the Heartland. The death toll in Kentucky alone already surpassed 70, and officials fear more casualties will be found as they go through the debris.

The strength, speed and timing of the storms seemingly caught everyone off guard, said Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Attorneys & Consultants in the latest Legal Insights video chat with RC. Cotney said he spoke with officials at the Kentucky Roofing Contractors Association in the aftermath and heard a lot of concerns about what happens next, given the roofing industry’s supply crunch.

“There are some contractors directly hit, and others dealing with minor damage,” he relayed. “But the bigger problem is getting materials. The supply-chain issue is exacerbated by storms just like this.”

That means price volatility, and the sheer lack of availability for certain materials will be around for the foreseeable future. Cotney also had some words of caution for roofing contractors that may look to help whether as volunteers or as companies ready to help rebuild when the time is right.

“If you’re going into this storm area, you need some extra safety training because there are a lot potential hazards like puncture points and potentially harmful chemicals,” he said. “You really need to prepare your crews to understand the extent of the tragedy if you’re not used to this.”

Cotney also discussed the importance of having the proper insurance coverage; the need for lease agreements if sharing materials and crew; and knowing how to deal with the insurance industry when it comes to storm work.