Published on 08/26/2021

The month of September is the height of hurricane season and, if the previous few years are any indication, there could be several storms threatening the United States. Hurricanes, as we all know, do unspeakable damage to the communities on or near the coast, as well as any area in its path until it peters out over land. 
It’s not all doom and gloom. Hurricanes, as we have seen in the past, bring out the best in each other, with neighbor helping neighbor to ensure that their community is back on its feet in no time. There is no glory or accolades, just people doing the right thing. 
Among these unsung heroes are tree service professionals. Trees and branches are invariably going to fall during a hurricane; even a category 1 has the power to rip heavy limbs from trees. That’s saying nothing of the storm surges, rainfall, and potential inland tornados. The bottom line is this: plenty of trees are going to fall during a hurricane, some will knock down power lines and create roadblocks, and there’s no way to get the much-needed relief to hard-hit communities without removing these hazards. That’s why the pride of our company has always been our employees: they are always ready to help strangers get back on their feet. 
Normally, we muster our professionals to rush to impacted communities without blinking an eye; but this is year, just like last year, is not normal. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, as the Delta Variant continues to mutate and spread, especially throughout the southeastern United States, the area most susceptible to hurricanes. It is an unfortunate turn of events, and it puts our business in a difficult situation as well. 
While we urge our employees to vaccinate themselves from COVID-19, we respect their personal decisions as they continue to work for us within our working territory. However, we have implemented travel restrictions on those unvaccinated to protect them as well as others from the spread of the virus. Further, many utility clients may also require that those travelling to stricken areas be vaccinated. Consequently, our ability to serve those in need during a storm emergency is unfortunately restricted by another emergency: COVID-19.
We base this policy on our #1 Core Value: Safety. We cannot in good conscience allow an un-vaccinated employee to put others at risk, no matter how noble the cause may be. According to medical experts and the best available data, the Delta variant is much more contagious than previous strains and the overwhelming number of people hospitalized by the virus are unvaccinated. Safety is the core tenet of our culture, not just in words but in action. We hope all of our employees consider vaccinating themselves against COVID-19 so that they can continue their roles as heroes with nothing to stop them from doing so.