— Andrew Stenbeck, WA DNR, WA
Training ensures competent personnel who can safely and cost effectively prepare for, reduce risk and damage, and respond to tree related problems resulting from natural disaster events.
Identify the full scope of training needed for urban forestry storm response before, during, and after an event.
A training program prepares staff to respond appropriately to the different components of an incident; and is essential to providing safe, effective, and efficient incident response. The need for readiness should not be underestimated. Train to always be ready for the worst case scenario.
— Jim Orr, Asplundh, PA
1. Establish leadership roles and clear authority.
2. Establish, define, and enforce minimum levels of knowledge and skill proficiency that is demonstrated and documented.
3. Training must be hands on.
4. Training should include multi-agency coordination, discipline and agency specific incident management courses.
5. Define the qualifications needed.
- Who needs to be trained and what level of experience and knowledge is needed.
- Consider how the less skilled employee can do triage and utilize the higher skilled individuals appropriately.
6. Training should be scheduled well in advance of a storm season.
7. Define the types of training and certifications that are needed, for example:
- Safe work practices.
- Applicable OSHA regulations.
- ANSI standards.
- Incident Command Systems.
- Tree risk assessments.
- Electrical hazard awareness.
- Tree pruning and felling practices during emergency conditions.
- Storm recognition and mitigation.
- Storm restoration practices.
8. Conduct periodic drills.
- Invite stakeholders and key individuals.
- Bring experts in to assist with training and practice if needed.
9. Practice to determine how to mobilize and distribute response teams. Who will be mobilized, how many will be mobilized, where to mobilize and when.
10. Tree Management Teams.
- Train for proper pruning and removal to minimize exposure to storm damage.
11. After the fact.
- Post storm tree assessments.
- Urban Forest Strike Team.
- Arborists can provide disaster planning assistance to communities, risk assessment, and FEMA debris identification following storms.
- Risk assessment helps communities identify trees that are an unacceptable risk, and trees suitable for retention and management during disaster recovery.