Hurricane Season Preparations Around Your Home

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Tree damage from coastal hurricaneHurricane season starts June 1st and for Hampton Roads residents that means paying attention to the National Hurricane Center forecasts, having an evacuation plan in place, and taking precautionary steps to make sure your home is ready for severe storms. Proper preparation can make a significant difference in protecting your property and keeping your family safe. Homeowners in Virginia Beach and other coastal communities know that the best time to make sure your home is protected is well in advance of a storm.

Arbor Experts does a lot of post-storm cleanup and in many cases the destruction to homes and properties could have been prevented. Here are tips to consider as you prepare your home for hurricane season.

  • Identify Hazardous Trees and Prune for Wind Resistance – look for visible decay, cracks or splits in the trunk or major branches, as well as cavities or holes that might weaken the tree. Crown thinning and reduction pruning improves the tree’s wind resistance. It reduces the canopy’s density and prevents the tree from becoming a sail in high winds.
  • Inspect Suspect Trees – If you have a tree that doesn’t appear healthy, trust your instinct. Trees can be damaged in several ways, and if you suspect a tree is sick or dying, it’s best to call in a professional. An arborist can often evaluate the tree and recommend corrective action. If the tree is in danger of falling during a storm, it may be time to have it professionally removed on your terms and at your convenience.
  • Remove Dead or Dying Limbs and Remove Deadwood – If you see limbs that don’t have green leaves or needles, they are likely dead or dying. It doesn’t take much wind to bring them down, so it’s always best to have them removed before bad weather arrives.
  • Trim trees that could impact your home – Trees that are planted too close to a home look nice and provide shade, but during high winds they can move or sway enough that branches, or even the trunk, can break and can damage your siding or break a window. Trimming branches can reduce risk and encourage growth away from the home itself.
  • Emergency Plan and Insurance – Develop an emergency plan for dealing with fallen trees or branches. Provide information on who to contact for professional tree removal 757-500-TREE (8733) in case of emergency and have your insurance number ready. Review your insurance policy to understand your coverage related to tree damage. This helps to financially prepare for potential tree-related storm damage.
  • Local Regulations – check your local regulations regarding tree care and removal. Many homeowners in the coastal area live where tree removal requires a permit. Your tree care provider knows this. Don’t hire a tree professional if they don’t understand the tree permitting process. Always ensure they are licensed and insured to protect yourself!
  • Clearing Debris and Loose Items – Damage is much more likely to come from blowing objects such as lawn and deck furniture, wind chimes, lawn ornaments, unsecured toys, and sports equipment, as well as loose siding and tree branches. Be sure to walk your property to clear debris and loose items from your yard that could become projectiles in high winds.

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Meaning, it’s easier to prevent a disaster than deal with it after it happens. If you have concerns about branches or trees in your yard, give us a call at 757-500-TREE (8733) and we’ll give you a free estimate and peace of mind.


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