How to clean up after a devastating storm

Storm damage comes in all kinds of forms. The wind and rain can cause damage to your home, and so can debris that is blown onto your home or other property. Fallen trees and downed limbs are just two of the major concerns you may have after an intense storm like a tornado or hurricane, both common occurrences in Florida.

Many tree removal companies provide storm clean-up services and most will also offer emergency services if a tree has caused structural damage to your roof or if it is blocking your drive. These companies will handle all of the clean-up and everything else that comes along with it.

If you opt to do storm clean-up yourself, here are a few things you should know:

  • You will be responsible for disposing of the debris, including trees and limbs that fell during the storm or that you removed during your clean-up. Your city or county may arrange pickup stations for you to drop off storm debris. You don’t have to worry about cleaning up the streets and sidewalks in front of your home. The city or county officials are responsible for cleaning up all public areas.


  • Be mindful of standing water after a storm. It can hold dangerous sharp or jagged materials. Water that has been standing for several days can already begin to grow mold or mildew. It can also be contaminated with other microorganisms.


  • When you are cleaning up storm damage, safety should be your main concern. Trees may be down on power and phone lines. These should be left alone by amateurs. Also, broken limbs are sometimes still wedged up high in the tree, and they can fall unexpectedly. You should always wear safety equipment when you are cleaning up storm damage.


  • Know your limitations. Look at the damaged trees in your yard and decide if they only need a little maintenance or if you think the tree is too damaged and needs to come down. At this point, you should consult a professional tree removal company.


  • To clean up the damage, drag all broken branches and limbs into one area. In the case of a jagged stump where a limb was broken off, you should cut the stump off parallel with the tree’s trunk to minimize decay or infection. Even if the tree’s shape is no longer symmetrical, don’t over prune it in an attempt to balance it out. You may do more damage than good.


  • Many people do not consider that native wildlife is affected by storms as well. They may be displaced after a storm and take shelter in the downed trees in your yard. Always be aware of this and move slowly when approaching trees that need to be removed.


If you don’t feel confident doing storm clean-up yourself, that’s understandable. There are many reputable tree removal companies all over the state of Florida that will be more than willing to help you with all your storm clean-up needs!