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5 Priorities For Picking Up After A Storm

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Aug 15, 2014

jard-patio-garden-tools-300x199Our List for a Safe Lawn Cleanup

Your yard can be significantly damaged by many of the large storms that hit our area. After a storm has passed, here are the top five things you need to look for and take care of so you can help your lawn get back to normal.

Priority 1: Power Lines

Cleaning up your yard can be deadly if there’s a downed power line and you don’t see it.

Your number one priority after each and every storm is to look at the power lines on your property – from a safe distance – and make sure that they’re still moving from pole to pole.

If you see a downed power line, stay off of your grass and immediately call your local utility company. After reporting it and requesting the utility stop power to the line, go back inside. You’re done with yard cleanup because it’s just too dangerous for you to be walking around.

Here in Florida, we rarely get storms without a lot of rain. If there’s water pooling in your lawn, or even if it has just saturated the ground and grass, electricity can travel a long distance across this water and reach you in a place you may initially think to be safe. Utility companies have made a lot of improvements to help them determine downed lines and shut off power quickly, but you should never take a risk.

Priority 2: Look Down

Animals hate storms as much as we do, and damage to your yard can often include damage to the natural homes of many critters. Check your yard carefully for snakes, wild dogs, possums, and anything else that may have wandered close to your home for shelter.

Most of these animals will flee when they see or hear you coming, but call animal control for any you spot on your property. They’ll let you know the best thing to do and can best resolve your situation.

Priority 3: Look Up!

Once you know it’s safe to walk around, start looking at your roof and trees. Make sure there’s no danger from branches falling or existing damage to your roof. If you think you’ve got a tree that may fall or lose some large branches, call a service to have it cleared out.

Major storms can shift the soil and ground near your home, which may make a tree unstable. This means climbing into a tree and starting to hack off a limb could bring down the whole thing with you too.

Priority 4: Secure Access

Now that you know what’s safe and any damage you have, work on clearing small debris away from the access points to your home.

This includes any doors and windows on the ground floor. You should also remove debris from your driveway and near your garage door so you can quickly access your car. Clearing away debris is essential because sometimes storms hit us back-to-back and you may need to leave.

Even if the coast is clear, you’ll likely need to get to the store soon for food, water and other essentials. Remember, always take a clear and safe route, whether that’s getting to your car or driving to the store.

Caution is king after a storm.

Priority 5: Drainage

As yards get back to normal, there’s one piece many people overlook - yard drainage.

Check your lawn to see if any soil erosion has changed the drainage on your property. If you see any significant shifts you may need to re-grade flower beds, gardens or other heavily planted areas.

Give a look at your ditches and culverts to make sure no debris is blocking your street drainage and remove any small debris you can. Do this slowly and with a long tool to avoid any insects or pests that may be in the debris.

This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company