Storm Preparation


Urban trees provide health, environmental, economic and aesthetic values to communities, businesses and homes. Trees that are not properly maintained or which are stressed can quickly become major liabilities to people and property from weather phenomena.

Immediate responses may be either to prune or remove your trees. These "do-it-yourself" efforts sometimes result in personal injuries, fatalities or property damage that homeowners are attempting to avoid. You can cause greater harm to the urban forest by removing healthy trees that do not need to be cut.

Preparing for storms is as easy as:

Conducting Self-Surveys

These help you learn about your urban environment and prepare you to meet with a certified arborist. Conduct a survey annually, note changes to tree structures each time, and call a certified arborist, if needed.

Giving Routine Tree Care

Trees need watering, fertilizing, and mulching. Certified arborists can help you determine which trees will need certain care at various times of the year. Add this information to your surveys for future reference!

Hiring Certified Arborists

They know how to remedy hazardous tree situations (pruning and/or removing trees) and should be consulted every other year to update tree assessments and provide major tree care, if needed. Certified arborists are trained to plant, care, and maintain trees. They have at least three years experience and have passed a comprehensive exam by an industry association. Certification relates to their knowledge of trees and tree physiology and requires them to remain updated in the latest arboriculture techniques. It does not govern individual performance, though.


Community Officials

An effective storm plan will help to minimize a storm's impacts on your community forest. This Emergency Reponse Plan developed in Columbus, GA is a good example.

  • Workbook and Template from the Community Forest Storm Mitigation Planning for Georgia Communities Workshop 2013