Storm Damage Prevention Reminders from the City

July 26, 2016

In light of the recent storms which moved through our community and more bad weather expected this week, the Oak Ridge Fire Department and the City of Oak Ridge Electrical Department (CORED) would like to inform homeowners of a few simple steps to help protect their property.

Check out City of Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley's interview about how you can help prevent storm damage:

Two issues we see with every major thunderstorm in Oak Ridge are downed trees and lightning strikes. Tree surgeons recommend that large mature trees near homes should be trimmed back every few years to reduce wind shear on the canopy. Trimming helps reduce the force of the wind on the canopy, which reduces the likelihood of the trees being blown over. Trimming will not guarantee a tree will not be blown down onto a home because soil conditions and the amount of rain prior to high winds also become a factor. The Fire Department recommends homeowners consult with a qualified tree service to evaluate the conditions around their home. 

In our most recent storms, there were a number of trees blown down on powerlines and five homes were damaged by falling trees. We live in a heavily wooded community and trees will always present challenges during major storms.

As for lightning strikes, we have experienced several fires over the years due to lightning. Even more residents have been affected by lightning running into their home and destroying televisions, computers and other electronic devices. 

City of Oak Ridge Electric Department crews install a whole-home lightning suppressor device.

The City of Oak Ridge Electric Department will provide assistance to protect against some lightning events. If the homeowner will purchase a whole house lightning suppressor for less than $100, then CORED will come and install the device free of charge. More information on this property protection program can be found online or by calling (865) 425-1803.

If you would like to receive notice of an impending storm or tornado, the Oak Ridge Fire Department subscribes to the CodeRed Emergency Notification System. You can read more about CodeRed online, then sign up by clicking on the website at the bottom of the article.

Summary of Storm Damage Prevention Tips:
1. Have your trees trimmed by a professional
2. Have CORED install surge protection on your home
3. Sign up for CodeRed Storm and Tornado warning notification system