A lot of times, for many property owners, the aftermath is worse than the storm itself. Mud, floodwater, tree debris, broken windows, power outages—these are only some of the hazardous situations you need to address once the storm has passed.
Getting your home and life back in order following a weather disturbance demands more than a mop and broom. Here is some sound advice from professionals in managing the effects of the storm:
Nothing should be more important than your safety.
· Keep your distance from power lines and be wary of hanging and damaged limbs or branches.
· Inspect the trees around and see if they are in contact with a utility line because the base may be grounded and put anyone in danger.
· Call a professional tree company if you are unsure of the situation of your tree.
· If you are trained to perform the work on your own, be sure to gear up the right suit and equipment. Wear long-sleeved shirts, a hard hat, and leather gloves, especially if you are working near a power line.
· If you are using power equipment, be sure to follow the instructions stated in the manual to prevent accidents.
Evaluate tree damage
· Assess your trees by asking these questions:
· Is the tree healthy prior to the storm?
· Is the leader branch or major limb still intact and unharmed?
· Is the tree crown unaffected by the storm, or at least 50 percent of it intact?
· Can a new branch structure form from the remaining ones?
If the answer to most of the question is a resounding “yes,” odds are the tree can still be salvaged with proper treatment. When in doubt, best to contact your local tree company.
Repair minor damage and debris
· Get rid of any stubs or broken branches still hanging by the tree.
· Eliminate any saw-toothed remains of fallen limbs to prevent decaying elements from entering the wound opening.
· Prune smaller branches in a way that they will connect with the major ones.
· Do not over prune. This is not the time to worry about the tree’s imperfect appearance.
Do not try to do it all yourself
Storm damage cleanup can make your hands full. Assess what you can do and what you should leave to the professionals. For instance, anything hanging should be handled by a certified arborist or a utility service crew. If you are not skilled to perform the following tasks, it is only smart to invest in professional service to supply you with the help you need:
· The job requires working with a chainsaw.
· Downed trees create tension and put the chainsaw operator at risk. This is why it should be done only by an expert who is trained to carry out such a dangerous task.
· Contact your utility service provider if a limb or tree is leaning against a power line. Please stay away from downed power lines and leave it to the expert.
· Stay away from tasks you are not accustomed to or trained to do.
Even after you have cleaned up the remains of the storm, stay vigilant and be on the look for signs of damage. Before the next storm comes, be prepared to keep yourself and your family safe from the after-effects of the bad weather.