DANGER: DO NOT TOUCH OR ATTEMPT TO REMOVE ANY FALLEN TREE OR BRANCH.
Five tips to stay safe around storm-damaged trees
- Never touch or attempt to remove fallen limbs from downed or sagging power lines; always report downed lines to your local utility company.
- Keep away from areas where uprooted trees may have damaged underground utilities.
- Avoid walking underneath trees that have broken limbs dangling.
- If you need to inspect a tree after a storm, do not walk underneath its suspended branches or leaning trunk. Approach a leaning tree from the opposite side of the direction it is leaning. Binoculars are great for inspecting trees from a safe distance.
- Refrain from doing tree work yourself. Pruning large limbs or removing trees is dangerous business that requires specialized equipment and training.
The tornadoes of 2018 taught us a lot about the devastation, destruction, financial and emotional impact that fallen trees can cause. Proper care and maintenance of trees can be far cheaper and less stressful than dealing with the aftermath of large storms, normal windstorms, heavy snow or a soggy ground. We would like to share with you some of the things that we’ve learned and our customers have told us:
- Customers that were proactive and had potentially dangerous trees removed in the period prior to a storm felt a whole lot of relief – both emotional and financial.
- Some insurance policies won’t cover damage from trees, if the trees weren’t properly maintained;
- Most insurance policies set limits on what they will cover, sometimes much less than actual cost to repair the damage;
- It can sometimes take months to receive funds from insurance companies, even if you paid up front to have the trees removed and repairs completed.
- After storms, be wary of unskilled individuals who approach you. They often pressure homeowners into costly work, lack expertise and training, and put homeowners at risk without proper licensing or insurance.
Always make sure that you receive a written estimate from a licensed and insured tree removal company. Do your research. Ask for references.