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Press Release

NH Department of Resources & Economic Development
Division of Forests & Lands
For Immediate Release: December 21, 2013
Contact: Brad Simpkins

Safety Tips to Be Safe During Storm Cleanup

(Concord, NH) Officials are preparing for a potential ice storm in some parts of New Hampshire this weekend, and are urging homeowners to use extreme caution in cleaning up any trees or branches after the storm. Each downed- or damaged-tree situation is unique, and each poses potential dangers to homeowners and woodlot owners trying to clean up the damage.

For people wondering what to do next, "Be Safe", is the watch word. Seek professional advice before undertaking clean up, and use common sense as you work. A few tips:

  • Don't exceed your ability.
  • Stay away from downed or sagging power lines until utility crews have arrived and repaired them.
  • Don't work alone.
  • Wear a hard hat and other recommended safety gear.
  • Watch for hanging limbs and leaning trees.
  • Remember that trees and branches may be unstable and pose considerable risk.
  • Contact your insurance company for instructions and take pictures to document damage for potential claims.
  • Get professional advice.

The best advice is a word of caution: Removing large trees or limbs is dangerous. Don't climb a ladder with a chain saw. Don't climb into a damaged tree. Never touch any tree near electrical wires. Assess your particular tree situation carefully and watch for safety hazards. Most tree work needs to be done by professional arborists, especially when the work requires climbing or the tree is leaning against another tree or structure.

Brad Simpkins, Director of the NH Division of Forests and Lands, reminds homeowners to be safe, "The trees and forests will recover. It is important people take care of themselves first". UNH Cooperative Extension has county foresters available to answer people's questions about cleaning up from the storm. According to Simpkins, "These are experienced foresters who can help landowners determine if they have trees that are still valuable that could be sold, or a mess that will cost money to clean up. They can also inform people about contracts and laws."

If you have questions about your trees contact your County Extension Forester. Visit or call 1-800-444-8978 to learn how to contact your forester and for safety, contract and pruning information.

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