Storms can wreak havoc in a community and while utility companies work to clear trees from power lines, there is another group actively assisting in storm cleanup of trees that have been damaged on (or caused damage to) residential and commercial properties – local arborists and tree service companies. During storm situations, it is important to be aware of opportunistic individuals and contractors who seem to come out of the woodwork looking to capitalize on the damage caused by a storm. These individuals often further complicate an already dangerous situation.
Emergency storm work is some of the most hazardous work arborists undertake. It presents a multitude of safety and logistical challenges. Untrained individuals attempting this work are a danger to the trees and property, and to themselves. The risk of injury from electrical hazard, weight shifting and trees under tension is just too great. Any arborist or tree company working on a property should be certified by the International Society of Arboriculture and hold all the appropriate state and local licenses required. A thorough knowledge of regulations and safety protocols are a must.
Here at Bartlett, getting to properties as fast as we can is a storm remediation necessity, but planning beforehand and making the situation as safe as possible for everyone is the first step.
Before a storm makes landfall, we start to organize people, equipment, fuel, transportation, insurance, meals and lodging for storm relief crews that will be coming in to help from our local offices across the country. With such a diverse operating area, we are able to mobilize these crews quickly from parts of the country not impacted by severe weather. While our local teams immediately begin work, additional crews and equipment are already en route.
Trees or limbs that have fallen on houses or vehicles and those that block driveways are addressed first as well as pruning and removal of trees that could lead to personal injury or property damage. Existing clients are a top priority for service and calls from other sources are prioritized according to need. Our administrative staff is invaluable in helping to determine these priorities. When damage is severe, managers and administrative staff from other areas of the country also travel in so that emergency calls can be attended to. Our Safety Coordinators help with crew assignments, equipment orders and supervising of the most hazardous jobs. Several tree care crews are dispatched simultaneously, performing a variety of different tasks.
We have a long history working to remediate after storms hit. Bartlett managers have dealt with numerous storm emergencies and developed best practices to ensure safety and efficiency. The very involved process of mobilizing crews and equipment begins when a serious storm is tracked and doesn’t end until the cleanup is finished.