What Is Known If you live near or are visiting the Gulf Coast area, you should know hurricane season around here is now. More specifically, hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th - September being the most active month, with the climatological peak happening around the 10th of September (that’s climate geek-speak for statistically the most likely day to find storm activity in the Atlantic Basin). Hurricanes are caused by a lack of wind shear combined with warm water, a mishmash of evaporation, higher winds and other phenomena that, mixed together, create the potential for destructive weather. Our big storm from last year, Hurricane Sally, produced over 3 million cubic yards of debris – more than Ivan did ten years previously, at an estimated damage value of $5-7 Billion! Almost no one was immune to some sort of landscape loss. Predicting is not Preparing We are all aware of the weather changes along the Gulf Coast as fast as all get out, and during these summer months when we’re not preoccupied with pools and beaches or praying for football, we’re watching or listening to the latest news for rain, humidity – and hurricanes. But paying attention to weather patterns in the form of cones or cooked spaghetti and making decisions based on predictions can be a recipe for disaster. When it looks as though we may be in the path, even early on, it’s time to review things like food, water, fuel, an alternate means of power (i.e. batteries, generators), and your or your family’s evacuation plan. What is too often overlooked, however, is preparing the outside of your home, to include your landscaping. But preparing also means thinking of hurricanes BEFORE you plant! Tree locations, for example, should be carefully considered, like proximity to a structure can be the difference between windows being replaced or surviving the storm. Give us a call when you are looking at design, and our experts will help you consider the possibilities to get the maximum appeal from your trees as well as help determine practical locations to minimize storm damage. Prevent Pots & Plants Being Projectiles When getting prepared for the impending storm, think beyond just the rain. There’s the potential for high winds, flooding, flying debris, and so on. Wrap larger plants in a heavier burlap tied with rather robust string, rope or bungees. Build a canopy around garden plants, wrapping them if possible. In the case of storm prepping, look at your beautiful design of potted plants, not as the work it will take to piece it back together once it passes, but the projectile you may have sitting close to your vehicles, homes or other out-buildings. Move the pots to a more protected area, such as under the cover of a garage or carport. If they are sensitive or delicate plantings, bring them inside temporarily. Planning is Prevailing You’ve taken all these steps or some form thereof, and now you’re ready, right? Not so fast. What about your gutters? They need to be cleaned out. Take another look at your trees to ensure there aren’t more limbs to take out, palm fronds to pull down or cut, or pieces already on the ground. Think about pruning to create some better openings for the wind to pass through. And once the storm has passed, there is the cleanup involved. Heavy limbs, upturned sod or garden patches, etc., all need to be addressed as quickly as possible. One thing to remember: take pictures and document ALL of your damage. Landscaping included! Now What? The aftermath of any devastating storm can at times be overwhelming, but with a post plan in mind, the days ahead need not be quite so daunting. When steps are taken before the storm, it can make a big difference when it is deemed safe to venture out and survey what you are facing. But you are not alone. Krob can help, both before and after. We will help with design to potentially reduce plant loss to a storm. And we clean gutters, do clearing of debris, can blow off roofs, and so on. Krob knows hurricanes, so give us a call or come see us today!