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Storm Response Initiative

Readiness-Storms are an inevitable part of managing our municipal forests. It starts with Building a Resilient Forest. This is also called Readiness.

This is done by selecting diverse, hardy and good quality trees (Selection and Planting) and then caring for them.  IDNR recommends a systematic approach to tree care and pruning. Many Tree City USA communities have implemented a four to eight year pruning cycle. They have noted in sections of their community where pruning has not occurred there was more tree damage after a storm. A managed municipal forest is a cost-effective and safer forest.

Response-In spite of all the best laid work and plans, Mother Nature is a strong force.  In situations where there are tornadic winds, the management strategy is one of Response.

 A new initiative has been put into place by the USDA Forest Service called the Strike Team Initiative. Illinois DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program has recently partnered with the NA USDA Forest Service to train a state STRIKE TEAM . This team can be activated after a major tornado to conduct tree risk assessments. Contact: IDNR for more information or assistance.  Urban Forest Strike Team (UFST) is a disaster response and recovery project initiated by the U&CF programs in Virginia and North Carolina in 2007 and supported by the Southern Group of State Foresters (USDA FS Region 8). The UFST concept has been implemented by the northeastern and mid-western states (USDA FS Northeastern Area) and the regional programs are operated as a single program with shared resources. UFST has responded to more than 11 disasters in 11 states since its inception. Deployments have ranged from multiple teams to single UFST crews.  Illinois trained a Strike Team Crew in 2014 through the USDA Forest Service’s Urban Forest Strike Team program.

Recovery-After a storm Recovery is the strategy for re-creating a livable environment for the community.  Storm mitigation and recovery has always been an integral part of the national and state urban and community forestry programs. Urban and Community forestry partners often banned together after a storm event to help communities find resources  to restore the lost tree canopy. Always remember to plant a diversity of trees in your local forest especially those well suited to the region.