Hurricane Recovery


Assess Damage.  If you have insurance or will be making any claim to with the government, then document all damage to equipment (pumps, pump-houses, tractors, implements, or barns) and trees with PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE . If possible use a camera that shows the date the picture was taken.  Photographs of damage with landmarks that will remain will be useful in validating the location of damage.  These pictures will be valuable for future claims on insurance and income loss during tax season. 

Trees: Depending on your relative position to the center of a storm, damaging winds can come from any direction. In Aug. 2004, the most damaging winds from Charley came from the North East. In general those groves which were oriented N-S suffered less damage than those with rows oriented E-W.  So damage assessment could begin in blocks or rows oriented E-W with no natural protection.  In some areas, groves on the North West side of natural woods received some protection.  Estimating the damage on trees can be difficult, so photograph the damage of the defoliated tree, dropped fruit, branch or tree loss, and any stem damage of remaining fruit.  There is likely to be continued fruit drop from damaged twigs for weeks after the storm. Decay losses on the tree may take as long as 1 month to develop.  Note windscar and sandblasting damage on surviving fruit.  Clean up fallen trees and debris to the point where access to all parts of the grove is possible.  Observe where tree loss was greatest and learn the causes of previous tree weakness.  In some cases, toppled trees revealed root weevil damage, for example, which may impact root re-growth. 

More information:
Muraro, Ron.  2004.  Guidelines for claiming citrus casualty loss due to freeze, hurricane or other natural disasters.  Mimeo. 

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