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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Storm Safety: Before the Storm

This is hurricane season, it's a good opportunity to take some time and ensure that both your property and your equipment are ready for severe weather. In this post we will discuss some things to do to prepare before the storm hits. In coming posts we will discuss storm cleanup and repair, and the tools you’re going to need for the job.

Before the storm:

Check your tools.

Don't wait for a storm to hit to find out whether your power equipment actually will start. Take the time now to pull out your equipment and give thoroughly check it and prepare it for operation. A good guide is our post on preparing your equipment for spring.
  • Check and ensure that you have fresh fuel and fuel mix available for tools like chain saws. Remember that there are some serious storage issues with ethanol fuel.
  • A good alternative is a premixed fuel like STIHL Motomix.
Inspect your property.
Hollow, aged and decayed trees can be a hazard

You can potentially reduce risk and prevent damage before the storm hits by identifying potential hazards now, before they become a problem. Look for the following in the trees around your property:

  • Cracks in the trunks of major limbs
  • Hollow, aged and decayed trees
  • One-sided or significantly leaning trees
  • Branches leaning more than 45 degrees over the roof or in close proximity to utility lines

Clean gutters to prevent water damage
Take action to correct potential hazards:

  • Remove dead, diseased or damaged limbs.
  • Have leaning trees inspected by a professional. Professional arborist Mark Chisholm provides advice on choosing a tree care professional.
  • Prune branches that are too close to your house, or over the street.
  • Call a professional when dealing with limbs in close proximity to utility lines, DO NOT attempt to do this yourself.
  • Check your gutters, and remove debris to prevent water damage. Many STIHL blowers come with optional gutter attachments.

It’s also important to protect yourself as well as your property. Always remember to wear the proper protective apparel and follow the directions in your manufacturer’s instruction manual when operating any outdoor power equipment.

Here are some helpful links to help you stay informed and prepare for severe weather.

NOAA readiness checklist

NOAA Watch:  Storm tracking, reporting and prediction

Official FEMA site

STIHL Chainsaw Safety Video

Consumer Reports Storm Emergency Guide