September is National Preparedness Month, held annually since 2004. The observance was started as a project of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a way to share information about preparing for and responding to emergencies with the general public.

The National Preparedness Goal describes five mission areas — prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is a partner in this effort and provides many resources to help Georgians be ready for the unexpected:

The Georgia Forestry Commission responds to weather and other emergency events both in and out of state, when requested by GEMA. Through the years, GFC crews have served in numerous capacities, from downed tree removals and road clearing to logistics and management duties for storm recovery, COVID response, government events, and more.

GFC professionals are always on high alert when there is a forecast for fire or weather danger. We urge you to explore our website at for resources that will help you get ready for these emergency situations.

These five tips can help you plan ahead for the possible impact of storms on trees:

  1. Inspect your trees before (and after) any major weather event; look for cracks and new leans.
  2. Work with an ISA Certified Arborist to prune trees to reduce wind and weight loading.
  3. Do not park vehicles on tree roots, which could result in compaction and root zone decay.
  4. Do not try to perform tree clean up beyond your own skill and safety level.
  5. Get multiple references for tree clean up; be wary of people knocking on your doors with high estimates for tree clean up.

Here are two valuable videos to check out:

Working with a certified arborist is always recommended, and you can find one here:

Stay safe and be prepared! In September and every other month as well.

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