On November 18, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law HB 1EX, which provides emergency disaster relief assistance for cleanup efforts for timberland owners as well as emergency funding for state agencies and local governments in areas heaviest impacted by Hurricane Michael, and HB 4EX, which creates a tax credit for timber growers in the 28 counties included in the disaster area who incurred significant damages and expenses due to the storm. Working with Governor Deal’s office and our sister agencies, GFC devised the Forest Access Road and Firebreak Restoration Project to implement HB 4EX.

Private forest landowners within the 28 county designated area* impacted by Hurricane Michael are eligible to be considered for debris removal, repair and restoration of pre-existing forest roads and fire breaks as part of the Forest Access Road and Firebreak Restoration Project. Eligible tracts of forest land must have had existing forest/tree cover immediately prior to Hurricane Michael’s winds impacting Georgia with pre-existing forest roads and/or firebreaks established. This program is NOT intended for the creation of new forest roads or installation of new firebreaks. Lands enrolled in any other local, state or federal reimbursement or cost share programs for similar activities are not eligible for funding under the Forest Access Road and Firebreak Restoration Project. Applications are due by February 28, 2019.

*28 County Designated Area includes only the following counties: Baker, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooley, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Randolph, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth

TitleDescriptionDocument Type
2022 Tornado Damage Assessment from April 5 and 6, 2022

Description of the Event: On Tuesday, April 5th, and Wednesday, April 6th, a strong storm system produced multiple tornadoes, mainly across central and South Georgia. Georgia Forestry Commission management foresters and GIS foresters helped assess and map out the damage that occurred throughout the state. There
were 33 tornado touchdowns, with seven of the tornadoes causing timber damage that required an assessment.

County Extension Offices

Connecting with your Extension County Office can keep you up to date with events, programs, and services just for you.

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Disaster Assistance – Federal Programs

USDA is here to help you prepare, recover, and build long-term resilience to natural disasters.

External Website
Disaster Resource Center

The USDA Disaster Resource Center offers information about specific disasters and emergencies, how to prepare, recover, and help build long-term resilience, as well as information about USDA assistance during disaster events.

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Emergency Response Plan for Community Officials

The purpose of this Emergency Storm Response Plan is to help clarify the roles of municipal personnel and establish uniform operating procedures in response to tree damage during storm events.

FEMA Disaster Declaration Map

View GA Map of disaster declaration by FEMA.

Forest Debris Management Program Practices

View acceptable debris management practices include chipping, grinding, root raking, piling, windrowing, pile burning, or other cost-effective methods to manage storm damage debris.

GEMA County Locations

In addition to county offices, the state is parceled into eight different regions for GEMA and Homeland Security response.

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Georgia Emergency Management (GEMA)

The state’s preparedness, response and recovery agency works with public and private sector organizations to prevent and respond to natural and man-made emergencies.

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HB 1EX Bill

Bill provides emergency disaster relief assistance for cleanup efforts for timberland owners, as well as emergency funding for state agencies and local governments in heaviest-impacted areas.

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How to Evaluate and Manage Storm Damaged Forest Areas

Read this resource to learn what steps to take to evaluate storm damage.

Hurricane Idalia Timber Impact Assessment Georgia August 30, 2023

The goal of the Timber Impact Assessment survey is to determine the current overall damage to the forest in Georgia and to document widespread impacts to the region affected by hurricane conditions.

Managing Storm Damaged Trees: Do’s and Don’ts

Check out this resource for the Do’s and Don’ts on how to manage damaged trees from a storm. Includes: how to hire a professional for clean up, chainsaw safety, pruning and maintenance for damaged trees and more.

National Timber Tax Website

A reference source for timberland landowners; also for accountants, attorneys, consulting foresters and other professionals who work with timberland owners regarding the tax treatment of timber related activities.

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Selling Storm Damaged Timber

Selling timber is a relatively involved process even in the best of times, requiring patience and diligence so that
a good harvest and the best price can be achieved. Learn what to expect when selling.

Storm Damage: Information for Landowners

Storms cause varying degrees of damage to forests and damage can be highly variable across affected areas of the landscape. Landowner objectives for the forest will help determine what actions are needed to restore the health and productivity of the forest resource. View steps to take after any storm.

Storm Mitigation Template

Community Forest Storm Mitigation Plan for Georgia Communities Template

Storm Mitigation Workbook

Community Forest Storm Mitigation Planning for Georgia Communities Workbook

Timber Impact Assessment – April 2020 Tornadoes

On the evening of April 12 and the morning of April 13, 2020, Georgia was part of a severe weather event that extended across the Southeast. The National Weather Service confirmed that 30 tornadoes touched down across the state, ranging in levels from EF-0 to EF-3 and from 0.5 miles to approximately 17 miles long. These storms affected a number of landscapes across the state, including urban, suburban and rural areas.

Timber Tax Credit program

More information about the Timber Tax Credit program from the Department of Revenue.

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Trees & Storm Safety

During a storm, trees are at risk and can cause significant damage to infrastructure and personal property. A storm mitigation plan keeps citizens safe and protects valuable urban forest canopy in the event of a natural disaster.

Page on GFC Website
Urban Forest Strike Team

This video outlines the work of GFC’s Urban Forest Strike Team, which helps communities deal with the aftermath of severe storms.