Protecting community trees costs less than replanting and growing new trees. A storm mitigation plan keeps citizens safe and protects valuable urban forest canopy in the event of a natural disaster.

Planning

Both communities and arborists need to plan ahead for storms. An effective storm plan will help to minimize a storm’s impacts on your community forest.

GFC can help communities develop a plan for avoiding or mitigating storm damage to trees.

GFC can also help arborists:

  • learn to assess a community’s current storm readiness
  • prepare, respond, and recover from a storm
  • understanding the arborist’s role in the process

What is a storm plan?

Storm Plans serve as a guide for:

Developing a storm plan.

When starting a plan, it is important to:

  • Have effective tree management in place, including ongoing pruning and removal of trees at risk according to ANSI standards
  • Have contracts in place in advance (hotline system, pre-determined debris storage areas, hiring specifications for tree care companies to include certified arborists)
  • Be prepared to conduct an immediate assessment of the damage and what can be done. What tools do you have and what tools do you need to fix it? What is the process? Urban Forest Strike Teams may be able to help.
  • Understand eligible costs and how to seek reimbursement from FEMA.
  • Review and become familiar with the county plan and your EMA director.
  • Communication with your partners is critical.

Considerations after a storm.

  • In the post-event recovery period, Georgia ReLeaf opportunities and disaster assistance programs may be available. You will need to plan ahead to ensure you have met criteria when the time comes.
  • New opportunities for economic and environmental use of woody debris may also be available.

Helpful Resources

Find sample emergency response plans, Do’s & Don’ts on managing damaged storm trees and more.

TitleDescriptionDocument Type
American Grove

Social networking with tree enthusiasts, statewide and nationwide.

External Website
Arbor Day

Resources and ideas for local celebrations.

Page on GFC Website
Ask the Arborist

Online assistance for homeowner’s questions about the trees in your yard.

Page on GFC Website
Athens Community Tree CouncilExternal Website
Coastal Arborist Association

The Coastal Arborist Association (CAA) was founded in 2015 to provide education, training, and fellowship to arborists in the coastal region of Georgia and South Carolina.

External Website
Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation

Tree advocacy group.

External Website
Cobb Trees

Tree advocacy group.

External Website
Community Forestry Assistance Program

GFC’s Sustainable Community Forestry Program (SCFP) provides technical support to cities, counties, elementary schools, college campuses, home owners and nonprofit organizations.

Page on GFC Website
Community Forestry Friend Program Application

The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) is rewarding communities and campuses implementing
exemplary urban forestry programs with a Community Forestry Friend social media badge. Earning
the badge means your community manages its trees with the best urban and community forestry
practices, partners and professionalism. Download application to apply for the Community Forestry Friend program.

PDF
Community Tree Planting and Establishment Guidelines

This Document is intended to aid homeowners and local government staff in planting and directing the establishment and maintenance of community trees.

PDF
eLearn Urban Forestry (eXtension Campus)

eLearn Urban Forestry is a distance-learning program for beginning urban foresters and allied professionals. These include foresters, natural resource planners, landscape architects, city officials and public works employees. (ISA credit and certificate of completion available)

External Website
eLearn Urban Forestry (Southern Regional Extension Forestry)

eLearn Urban Forestry is a distance-learning program for beginning urban foresters and allied professionals. These include foresters, natural resource planners, landscape architects, city officials and public works employees. (ISA credit not available)

External Website
Emergency Response Plan for Community Officials

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

PDF
Georgia ReLeaf Program

Georgia ReLeaf efforts to help south Georgia communities replace tree canopy lost to severe storms and other communities planting trees for veterans.

External Website
Georgia Tree Council

Tree advocacy group who works to sustain Georgia’s green legacy by partnering with individuals, organizations, and communities in raising awareness toward improving and maintaining Georgia’s community forests.

External Website
Hazards of the Forest

Foresters and others who work outside and those who enjoy being in the outdoors are often confronted with hazards that can cause sickness, injury, or death. This booklet provides a brief description of those hazards to help you avoid an unpleasant encounter.

PDF
Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives Research

Take care of the forest, and it will take care of you. As research is being conducted and becoming available, findings reinforce what much of the urban forestry community already knows — that trees have a positive impact on human health. Check out research on why Healthy Trees make Healthy Lives.

External Website
Homeowner’s Role in Maintaining the Urban Forest

Download this guide to get tips on maintaining trees, selecting an arborist and a homeowner tree survey checklist.

PDF
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.

PDF
Marietta TreeKeepers

Tree advocacy group.

External Website
Native Trees of Georgia Book

Book showing illustrations of trees native to Georgia.

PDF
Savannah Tree Foundation

Tree advocacy group.

External Website
Save Energy – Plant Trees!

This video provides insights into the value of planting trees.

Video
SCFP Area Map – May 2020

SCFP Area Map by County

PDF
Storm Mitigation Template

Community Forest Storm Mitigation Plan for Georgia Communities Template

PDF
Storm Mitigation Workbook

Community Forest Storm Mitigation Planning for Georgia Communities Workbook

PDF
Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA and Tree Line USA Programs

Celebrating communities all across America that are creating healthier and more abundant community forests.

Page on GFC Website
Trees Atlanta

Tree advocacy group.

External Website
Trees Columbus

Tree advocacy group.

External 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.

Video
Urban Forest Sustainability and Management Review – Checklist

The Urban Forest Sustainability & Management Review System is designed to provide a framework for comprehensively evaluating urban forest management programs. This review system (the checklist and the process) can be used for municipal or county urban forest management programs, or to evaluate college or corporate campus management programs

External Website