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Severe Weather and Your Property's Landscape

Severe Weather and Your Property's Landscape

As we approach November 30th, the official end of hurricane season, we are grateful

As we approach November 30th, the official end of hurricane season, we are grateful for what has been a relatively quiet year. With the “Big Four” of 2004 now ten years behind us, it’s worth reflecting on the capabilities that a responsible commercial landscape company brings to your property when faced with severe weather events.

Here are three questions to ask your landscape service provider when putting together your property’s emergency response plan:

What resources does your landscape maintenance service have to respond when the storm has passed?
Communication and planning are essential during normal maintenance of your property’s landscaping, but when severe weather approaches, make sure that you know who to contact and what resources your landscape company bring in to help with your property’s cleanup. This is a big difference between a local provider and a larger regional landscape service provider. Regional landscape companies are able to pull in equipment and staff from areas outside the storm’s path, while a local landscape company may have a more difficult time finding help to restore your property after the storm has passed. Essential equipment like chain saws, chippers, and loaders are in short supply after severe weather hits, and any of these items that a contractor can bring from other locations will assist the cleanup response team in restoring order to your property.

How quickly will your landscape service be on site to start cleanup?
Most landscape service contracts dictate that the contractor must have staff on site within 24 hours after the event to begin cleaning up and restoring the property. It’s important to note that the size of your landscape service company will play a major role in how quickly they are able to place service workers at your property to start cleanup, and how large the cleanup team will be. With many larger, regional providers, proactive planning will often result in staff that is stationed either on your property or very near to it before the storm arrives, so that they can begin cleanup as soon as they are safely able to do so. Make sure that you and your landscape partner agree beforehand on how long the extra crews will stay and how you will determine when emergency response is completed and your normal landscape maintenance schedule can resume.

Will your landscape company be able to replace trees and other plant materials destroyed by a storm?
Making your property safe again is priority one in a severe weather response plan, but after your property is safe, how will you restore the appearance of your property’s landscaping? The specific capabilities of landscape companies vary widely, but larger firms will be able to source and install new material in a reasonably short time following a severe weather event. If your landscape service provider is a smaller company, it may take longer to bring in materials and for them to find a subcontractor that will be able to install the replacement trees and plant materials.

While we can’t always predict the path or severity of major storms, it is our duty as responsible service partners to proactively prepare for them and react as quickly as it’s safely possible to restore our client’s properties. That’s why we encourage all our clients to have a plan for severe weather and to revisit it at least once a year with all of their property’s service partners.

Need help preparing a severe weather response plan for your property’s landscape? Contact your local Austin Outdoor today. We’d be glad to help.

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