Storm Damage and Salvage Safety Video

By: Doug Duncan

In response to the severe tornado and hurricane outbreaks in North Carolina and other Southern states, the NC Association of Professional Loggers has issued an important safety reminder. This video is provided to highlight safe techniques in harvesting and clean-up of storm damaged timber.

The frequency of wind throw from hurricanes and tornadoes and similarity of stand conditions suffering ice damage creates unique conditions that threaten safety of woods operators. Developing a safe plan of operation could include mechanical and manual techniques alone or in combination to safely avoid or clear away hazards. This video stresses both the proper planning before workers are exposed as well as the technical aspects of mechanical and manual cutting. The content is suitable for traditional woods workers as well as utility crews and emergency management contractors who face similar hazardous conditions.

General Features

The Storm Damage and Safety video covers the following topics:

  • Developing a safe plan of operation by identifying types of hazards, proper placement of decks and approach paths to salvageable timber
  • Preference to mechanical operations with the highest level of operator protection
  • Review of required personal protective equipment
  • Review of chain saw safety features and reactionary forces when manual cutting is used.
  • Developing a topping and limbing plan that identifies risk and provides a safe approach to stems on the ground
  • Identifying tension and compression wood and how forces are released when stems and limbs are cut
  • Detailed description and utilizing of four specialized manual cutting techniques classified as top lock, limb lock, tongue and groove lock, and cutting spring poles
  • Description of root ball hazards and how to eliminate risk
  • How to safety assist manual salvage with mechanized equipment
  • How to safely manage stems on slopes
  • Brief introduction to manual felling of standing trees


The Storm Damage Safety video is a DVD medium intended to be used in group settings or as an individual training aid. The discussion leaders guide included with the DVD introduces the material and provides appropriate questions and answers as to the content seen. The training assumes a familiarity with timber operations and shows the more technical aspects of dealing with trees, stems, and tops under physical stress due to storm throw and damage conditions. It will be a welcome aid to logging crews, utility crews and emergency management crews finding themselves in salvage operations. The nature of the material lends itself well to distribution prior to expected occurrences such as hurricane season in the southern US and also immediately after storms from any source have hit. The emphasis on hazard recognition is extremely valuable before a worker places him/herself in harm’s way.


Production possible due to support from THAT’s (Timber Harvesting and Transportation Safety Foundation), Forestry Mutual Insurance Company, N.C. Association of Professional Loggers, Inc., the NC AgroMedicine Institute, Ricky Brewer Logging, Cobbler Logging, and Virginia Carolina Timber.

View Now

NC suffered a severe tornado outbreak in April 2011. See this tree part series safety video now at and take immediate advantage of these safety tips before harvesting and cleaning up damaged timber.