The initial storm reaction is to remove the danger and make all locations water-tight.
If any fallen trees are on Hydro lines, you will need to call Hydro Emergency for assistance, as there is the risk of live wires or arcing. Turn off the power source within the house (main breaker). The restoration of power must be performed by a licensed electrician.
The Next Priority:
Make the area safe by removing the fallen tree or limbs off of the structure and out of harm’s way.
This should be done by a professionally licensed forestry arborist, both for safety and liability reasons, and to prevent further risk of damage during the removal process.
At this point you may want to call your insurance company if you feel the damage is substantial enough to initiate an insurance claim or if you need direction or clarification from your insurance representative. If you do go this route, your insurance adjuster will call a preferred contractor, who will then send a licensed forestry arborist to your property to remove the tree from the roof or other structure and place it out of the way. The roof will then be tarped as necessary and/or temporary repairs carried out to make the structure water-tight.
If possible, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damage before the tree is removed and after. In most cases, the contractor’s representative or arborist will do this. If you are arranging the tree removal yourself, photos may be requested by your insurance company if your insurance adjuster is not able to be on the scene immediately.
After the tree removal and temporary repairs have been completed, an estimator from the contracting company will be out to assess the resulting damages. An estimate outlining the required repairs and costs will then be prepared and forwarded to your insurance company.
In severe weather situations, this may take some time as the damage is often widespread. In these catastrophic situations, debris is placed safely out of the way, but no clean up is done in order that the crew can get to the next emergency as soon as possible. Again, the first priority is to make the property safe and water-tight.
- If the storm is severe, you may wish to get alternative power (generator) to run your fridge, freezer and sump pump.
- Generally speaking, the food in your freezer will last over 24 hours provided you DO NOT OPEN the lid to check on it. Meats will keep everything else from defrosting and, depending on the mix of items, it is not uncommon for food to stay frozen 24 – 48 hours or more. When the hydro comes back on, a survey of the food in the freezer will need to be done.