Tree Hit Your House? 4 Steps to Follow

Posted 10:58 a.m.

treesEmotions can run high in times of emergency, and when a tree hits your home instincts may leave you stalled. Please remember, if a tree hits your home:

  1. Get everyone safely out of your house. If your family has a pre-determined meeting place, head there, or go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
  2. Use your cell phone or go to a neighbor and call 911
  3. Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled. 
  4. Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.

In all cases, stay away from downed wires near downed trees. Electricity can travel through tree limbs. Never remove tree limbs or other items that are touching or near a downed wire.

If trees do fall in your neighborhood, here’s who to call in the days ahead regarding removal:

Adjacent to Public Roads

  • Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.

On County Parkland

  • Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.

Posing Hazard to Public Areas

  • Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.

Private Property

  • Removal is the property owner’s responsibility.

About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

13 responses to “Tree Hit Your House? 4 Steps to Follow”

  1. Julia Smith says :

    Will trash be picked up today?

  2. Ken Lanfear says :

    The first advice should be, “Print this page now!” A falling tree may cut off the power … and the Internet connection.

  3. John says :

    If a tree falls on your house and you get everyone out – determine if you have time to safely get back into and out of the house quickly, you should consider switching off the main circuit breaker to prevent short circuits and fire — and — turn off the water supply coming into the house if it appears a water pipe in the house could be damaged by the fallen tree.

    • John says :

      Follow-up to my post above – if there are any downed power lines, and you had power into the house before the tree hits the house, it is probably not safe to go back into the house, but if you have underground power to the house, it “may be” safe to do so, depending on the tree size and any movement after it hit, and where it landed. If you are probably in the panic mode, however, don’t put yourself in danger – stay away from the house – you and family must be your first priority.

  4. lolac1 says :

    Don’t forget your pets! Get them out as well.

  5. Bob says :

    That stinks! Nice boat though

  6. CONNIE HOWELL says :

    Thank you for this information, always worthy!

  7. ken says :

    That’s my house!

  8. Donald says :

    If a neighbors tree falls on my house or property, who is responsible for cleaning it up or repairing my house?