I was a full-blooded New Yorker for the first eighteen years of my life and then have lived out west for the past eighteen. As I worry about friends and family back East and see Sandy's horrible destruction, I have begun researching what needs to be done about one of the major problems I keep seeing over and over again: the fallen trees.
Since the news of Sandy has hit I have seen countless images from friends and family of massive trees being uprooted in yards, falling on houses, poking through walls and even falling on cars in the driveway. Luckily everyone is safe through this ordeal, but when it's all settled the question of how to deal with the trees and damage will surface. I have put together some research on what to know and where to start.
If a tree falls on your house stay inside
. Don't go out and look at it or try to move or cut it down. Things are still moving, falling and unpredictable; you can deal with it after the storm has passed.
Call The Fire Department:
If a tree has fallen on your house call your local fire department asap. They will check to make sure that no damage has been done to gas and electrical lines. Treat all wires as live wires and do not touch or try to untangle them.
Call Your Insurance:
Your homeowners insurance should cover the damage to your house or yard from a natural disaster. You also need to check whose responsibility it is if the tree causes damage to your neighbor's yard. If a tree caused damage to your car, then you need to see if that is covered by the comprehensive portion of your auto policy.
After the storm has passed, take pictures of all the damage for insurance.
Once everything has settled and it's time to clean up, have a tree removal company come out to your house, which should be covered by your insurance.
I know this could be the hardest step, but there are a lot of people who need help and a lot of damage out there. It'll all get fixed, it just might take some time.
Good Luck and Stay Safe!
(Image: Lev Radin/Shutterstock)