Tree removalPhoto by Morgan McBride on Unsplash

We all know that storms in St. Louis can be extreme, and sometimes even devastating. And as if the elements alone weren’t enough to contend with, we also have all the trees to worry about, because high winds and bad storms have been known to knock over their share of timber in the city.

But knowing that a tree can fall on your house and being prepared for it are two very different things, and if you want to be prepared, the best thing to know is how to respond in case of such an emergency. With that in mind, today we’re going to talk about the five steps you’ll have to take in the unlikely event that a tree falls on your St. Louis house.

Step One: Get Out of the House

The first thing you need to do when a tree hits your house is to make sure everybody is safe. Gather up the family and pets and exit the house as quickly as possible. It’s important to make sure that the house is still structurally sound before allowing anybody back in.

If the tree was small and the damage minimal, it may be ok to go back inside. However, if there’s a risk of further damage, make other arrangements until it’s safe to return, or until you’ve had the damage assessed by a professional.

Step Two: Call Ameren

Once everybody is out of the house, you’ll have to call Ameren to shut off the power. This is a must if the tree knocked out the power because there’s a chance the lines could have been damaged in the storm. If there are damaged power lines in the house, it could pose a fire hazard or electrocution danger to anybody who goes inside.

Step Three: Call Your Insurance Company

The next call you’ll have to make is to your home insurance company. Within the next few days, they’ll send out an adjustor to assess the damage, photograph the scene, and make a report about the incident. If you’re not sure already, you should find out what your deductible is, so you know what to expect when it comes time to get the repairs done.

Step Four: Call a Tree Service

After the insurance, you’ll then have to call a tree service to assess the situation and make a plan to remove the tree. More than likely, the tree will have to be removed entirely, and this could involve lifting it off the house, bucking it down into smaller and more manageable pieces, and hauling it off.

However, if it was only a branch or limb that came down on the house, then the tree service will be able to assess the overall health of the tree, because it’s possible that you won’t have to remove it.

Step Five: Call a Roofing Contractor

The final step is repairs to the house to fix any damage the tree did, and most often this involves calling a roofer. Once the tree has been removed, the roofer can come to assess the damage,
tarp the roof to prevent rain and wind from damaging the inside of the house, reinforce structural damage, repair holes, and fix any other damage that’s occurred.

Having a tree fall on your house is a scary experience, and it can be easy to panic if you don’t know what to do. Being prepared for a situation like this can bring peace of mind, but it can also help you to act quickly during an emergency to ensure that all the right people get called right away, so that repairs can start as soon as possible.

Just be sure to call a professional tree service and contractors when you’re dealing with downed trees and home damage, because it’s the only way to ensure that the job will be done right.