The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has arrived and with it, the need to be prepared for the impacts from potential storms.
With many predicting above average hurricane activity this year, the N.C. Forest Service encourages communities preparing for or cleaning up after a storm to implement best management practices that support efficient response and recovery.
“As we all are aware, storms come in many sizes and occur regularly across North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Being prepared will help prevent damage to trees and property. Forestland, especially urban tree canopy cover, is a critical asset for our state. The NC Trees and Storms: Readiness, Response and Recovery best management practices for communities support sustainable urban forest management at the local level and help communities prepare for storm response and recovery.
For communities and municipalities preparing for/or cleaning up after a storm, here are some helpful tips and guidelines summarizing the NC Trees and Storms 3Rs process:
- Build an urban forestry team of municipal staff, tree care professionals and stakeholders to develop and manage a storm mitigation plan.
- Identify, prune and remove structurally defective trees to enhance public safety and reduce potential storm damage.
- Develop your storm response plan, administrative processes and secure resource needs.
- Complete initial damage assessment and planning. Be sure conditions are safe for your workers before you dispatch staff and crews to begin work.
- Classify the severity of the event triggering mobilization of required resources.
- Secure and dispatch needed resources based on the event classification.
- Inspect, prioritize and reduce hazardous tree damage.
- Demobilize resources as the workload dictates until all hazardous tree damage is addressed and the recovery phase can be initiated.
- Assemble your urban forestry team, evaluate storm response efforts and make necessary adjustments to enhance response efforts in the future.
- Complete an inventory of storm damaged trees to identify tree pruning, removal and planting needs and budget.
- Develop a recovery plan that addresses the findings of the inventory, community wishes, timelines and budget.
- Implement the recovery plan, monitor and adjust as needed.
To access the NC Trees and Storms: Readiness, Response and Recovery BMPs for Municipalities, visit www.ncforestservice.gov/treesandstorms.htm. For more information or assistance, contact your local NCFS county ranger or the NCFS Urban and Community Forestry program. To locate contact information, visit www.ncforestservice.gov/contacts.