Tree Dangers and Hurricanes

You know when a hurricane or tropical storm is coming …the wind becomes still, and you can feel the air pressure change. Storm warnings are also given a few days before a storm. These warnings only give you time for last minute emergency preparations.

We all know the time to get ready for hurricane season is not when you are watching the weather channel display another system forming over the Atlantic but, life happens and there are things you can do far in advance, prior to, and after a storm. Whether you are a native Floridian or a new transplant here are some tips for your trees during, before, and after a hurricane or storm.

Evaluating the Trees in Your Yard

As you prepare for hurricane season don’t overwhelm yourself, give yourself time, by starting before a storm alert. Your landscape provides a great source of pride and adds value to your home, but it can also create dangers and damage during a hurricane or a lower grade storm.

You probably know where the trouble spots are, not only in your yard but also the neighborhood. Overgrown trees and unsecured patio structures can be problematic even in modest storm conditions. During high winds these objects can become dangerous projectiles.

Get some professional advice and assistance with getting your yard hurricane ready. A local certified arborist company can help assessing and trimming one the most important of landscape investments-your trees. Well rooted pruned trees are less likely to break or fall on your house or car. Prior storms and improper pruning can cause cavities that make a tree susceptible to breaking and failing during a storm.

High winds and saturated soil conditions typical in storms can cause tree roots to lean or fail and limbs to weaken and break. A trained arborist can provide the care that is critical to this valuable landscape asset. To replace a palm tree the costs can be around $200 for a four feet tall tree to well into the thousands for anything over 10 feet.

Tree Danger Signs

Trees that have not been pruned and have thick canopiesTrees that have damage from prior stormsYoung treesSplit treesLeaning treesSignificant crown lossDecayed or dying tree with trunk damage

Prior to a Storm

If storm is on the way remove any patio furniture, outside equipment, garbage, and any recent pruning that could become airborne. Your garage is a better place for these items then out on the street. Garbage trucks may not come until days after the storm.

If you can safely remove dead branches do so. Do not leave the debris outside.

Move cars away from any trees that may fall. Move patio furniture inside or secure it.

Tree Debris After a Storm

After the storm has passed have your arborist check your trees for damage that can cause future issues. An arborist may be able to save some of your damaged trees, so don’t be quick to cut down trees. If you need to remove debris immediately there are some important safety measures you should take.

Records- Record all damage for your insurance company prior to any necessary clean up.

Chainsaw safety- If you do not know how to use a chainsaw now is not the time to learn especially if you are by yourself. Use proper safety equipment like gloves, safety goggles, and boots. Never use electrical equipment while standing in water. Keep both hands on the chainsaw and cut away from your body.

Power lines- Do not approach or touch a tree or branch that is on a downed power line. Your power provider should be contacted.

Freelance tree cutters-Be careful of hiring anyone looking for clean up work after a storm. These individuals are often not licensed and could cause more damage to your trees or home, such as improperly cutting a tree and causing it to fall on your home.

Branches on the roof-Large branches on the roof should not be removed. Moving large heavy branches could cause structural damage.

Insurance and Tree Damage

To make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your home contact insurance agency and review your policy. You may be wondering if your homeowner insurance covers damage caused by fallen trees on your property. The answer is, it depends.

If the tree was otherwise healthy and toppled due to wind, a typical homeowners insurance policy may help pay to repair to your home or other structures on your property. However, homeowner’s insurance usually will not cover loss caused by negligence or a maintenance related issue. It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll typically have to pay your deductible before insurance will help pay for a covered loss.

Record and take pictures of all damageContact an insurance adjuster

Do not hire an uninsured company to clean up damage. You could become responsible for medical bills if a worker gets injured.

Give yourself piece of mind and work with a professional arborist to be prepared for tree damage and other potential dangers on your property. If you have tree damage immediately get help by contacting Triumph Consultants. Triumph offers free inspections and will review your insurance policy and contact your insurance company. A structural evaluation may need to be conducted by engineers. Here at Triumph Consulting we have over 30 years combined expert public adjuster experience with navigating insurance policies. We work for the insured. Triumph Consulting Corp., Florida Public Adjusters will fight for your rights to make sure you get the most money you deserve when filing an insurance claim. ®. Call us at 954-592-7162 or Request a Free Inspection.


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