CHARLOTTE, N.C. — National Hurricane Preparedness Week begins Monday, June 1, and one of the things homeowners need to be aware of is any changes to the trees around their homes.
Have any died or look diseased? Now is the time to address the issue, before the storms arrive.
Some storm damage can be prevented, and if you know of an existing danger that trees pose to your home or a neighbor, you could be on the hook for liability. Storms can pop out of nowhere and cause thousands in damages.
You can't predict every problem tree but now is the time to at least look and make sure you don't have a big problem lurking on your property.
"It could have been so much worse," said one woman, who saw a massive tree fall on her home.
During high winds, the tree came crashing down on the attic, which was pushed down into the home. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Tree damage is one of the most common things we see during storms. It's dramatic, and sadly, sometimes deadly.
Now is the time to take a look and see which trees need to be pruned and if you have any trees that might pose a danger in high winds. Some may need to be climbed to safely take them down. As a homeowner, it's your responsibility to identify problems.
If you ignore it, your insurance company may have grounds to deny a claim.
“If a customer ever has a question about a tree near power lines, they can give us a call and we can then go out a look at it to make a plan,” said Meghan Miles, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.
Trees pose a real danger to power lines. If you have a line near your home, Duke will maintain the easement, and easements vary by the size of the line. Anything outside of the easement is likely your responsibility.
“But ultimately, we are responsible for maintaining vegetation that could pose a threat to power reliability to our customers” added Miles.
If you are choosing to have the tree taken down, chose a company that is insured and bonded, so if something happens, you’re protected. Read reviews. If you do have storm damage, it’s fine to hire people on the spot but don’t pay them first. Storm chasers can disappear quickly. Again, you are better off with a business and a name on the side of the truck.