Damaging Storms: Picking Up the Pieces Afterwards

storm debris and damaged homes

After the thunder and the lightning have passed, after the rain has stopped and the floods have receded, what is left?

The cleanup.

While Nashville and the middle-Tennessee area didn’t face anything close to what Hurricane Harvey did to the south coast, we did get our fair share of damage from the storm. A simple walk outside in the following days revealed the damage done, from fallen trees and downed power lines to water damage from flooding. There is a lot to be done, and city workers from various public works departments are overworked. It is for this reason that we here at the Parke Company also offer municipal services, such as clearing brush, cleaning up storm damage and helping to remove trees in emergency situations.

Cutting Through the Confusion

There is a lot of confusion in the immediate days following a storm, which is why it pays to have someone help clear up some of that mess. Most cities will delay trash pick ups, or have more than the originally scheduled pick ups, as the city tries to clear away the debris. If you see a downed power line, make sure to notify the right authorities, and never, never touch it. You never know when a line is still active, and if there is still water around, even walking near it could be fatal. Since downed power lines are a focus in the wake of a massive storm, things like fallen trees tend to get forgotten, especially if they’ve fallen on your yard or in the lawn of your business. Tree removal is something that we here at the Parke Company are happy to help with, as it can be a tricky and dangerous endeavor without the right skills or tools.

Down the Drain (or Sewer)

One area that is definitely neglected is the impact leaves can have in the wake of a storm. It doesn’t seem like it would be an issue, but in areas with flash flooding, the sewer system is already overtaxed. Several yards worth of wet leaves create massive blockages, leading to more flooding and other problems. This is a good reason to always rake and bag your leaves. Even in the event of a storm, the professionals at the Parke Company will arrive at your home or business and make sure the leaves are safely disposed of. Similarly, gutters need to be cleared for the same reasons, as no one wants to have a leaky roof in the wake of a storm.

Storms can be terrifying; watching the sheer amount of power Mother Nature is capable of displaying can make one feel small. The cleanup afterwards is capable of causing these emotions as well. It doesn’t need to stay that way for long, however, and we here at the Parke Company will make sure that things return to normal as quickly as possible, and that the feelings of safety and relief come with them.

Three Ways to Prepare During Emergency Preparedness Month

parke company service truck

Emergency Tree ServicesIf you didn’t already know, September is Emergency Preparedness Month! This is an important time to evaluate your home and family’s protocol during an emergency and make a plan. Middle Tennessee can often be the center of major thunderstorms, flooding, winter storms and other natural disasters. For this reason alone it’s important to consider what you and your family need to do in an emergency and ensure you have all the necessary tools on hand should you need them.

Thankfully, Nashville has a great planning system in case of a severe storm, but sometimes that’s not the only thing that helps. There’s no better time than now to sit down with your family and discuss what your family plan might be should you need it. Here are three key factors our arborists recommend when planning and preparing for emergency preparedness:

Have Emergency Service Numbers
Our team of tree care experts always recommend having our number on speed dial. Our emergency tree service experts can take care of large, fallen branches and trees. The trees might be blocking roadways or the branches might’ve fallen on a power line. Whatever, the case, make sure you have our number on hand should you experience a tree care emergency. In addition, be sure to have a list of other emergency service numbers such as Nashville’s Electric System, water company, Red Cross and many others. We also recommend writing down these numbers on a sheet of paper and having next to your landline phone or posted on your refrigerator. This way, you have the numbers ready no matter what happens. You never know if you might lose cellular service or run out of battery.

Gather an Emergency Kit for the Home
An emergency kit for your home or business is one of the best ways to stay prepared during a storm. Take a duffel bag or suitcase and compile items you’ll need during a storm. Your emergency kit could include items such as blankets, batteries, flashlights, canned foods and much more. For a full list of items, visit the Red Cross website or the National Weather Service website. And don’t worry! Our arborists emergency tree service crew has an emergency kit full of supplies too!

Put Together Shelter Supplies and an Evacuation Plan
Should the weather get bad enough and you need to evacuate, be sure to have a pack of shelter supplies and an evacuation plan ready. Research where your closest shelter is located beforehand and have a pack of supplies ready so you don’t waste too much time. Map out an evacuation plan with your family in case you are separated during a storm. Don’t forget that your plan should also include our emergency tree services. This way, if branches or trees fall in the roadway, an arborist can come quickly to remove the obstruction allowing you to get safely to a shelter.

Always be prepared! Having an evacuation plan, the appropriate phone numbers (including Parke’s emergency tree service) and kits for the home and shelter are important to ensure safety during a storm. Take the remainder of this month to prepare for an emergency. Want to talk tree care or landscape with us? Call an arborist for more information!

Writer of this blog – Gdweblab