Storm and Disaster Cleanup

Natural disasters often leave behind a devastating aftermath marked by a trail of destruction and scattered debris that litters the landscape and creates significant issues for landowners. Clearing vegetation and trees left behind by storms, floods and forest fires requires the right equipment to facilitate the restoration of land to its natural state.

“If you’re in the disaster recovery business or manage storm and fire cleanup, you need equipment that can cut, shred, mulch, and process downed trees, broken branches, and scorched vegetation,” said Matt Nelson, director of development for Diamond Mowers.

Following are some tools Nelson recommends for those engaged in disaster cleanup, fire prevention and recovery.


Following severe weather or fire, the land can be cluttered with hazardous trees and brush, necessitating the utilization of a disc or drum mulcher’s powerful processing and rotation speeds – ideal for large mulch and brush management applications.

Engineered to act like a flywheel, disc mulcher design combines stored energy with hydraulic power to enable operators to cut and mulch trees and brush in their path while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency. Conversely, drum mulchers get their name from their cylindrical, drum-like shape. These robust land clearing attachments shred small trees and brush with a forward spinning motion – a quality that makes them great for quick brush and undergrowth removal.

“By mulching downed vegetation and debris, you can return the materials and nutrients back to the ground, preparing the land for replanting and new growth,” said Nelson. “Unlike other land-clearing techniques, mulching doesn’t cause disturbance to the soil, which is vital for reducing erosion and aiding in water conservation by preventing moisture loss. Employing a disc or drum mulcher can improve soil fertility and deliver essential nutrients that will serve future vegetation.”

Storm cleanup mulcher

Stump grinder

Another indispensable tool for individuals involved in disaster cleanup and prevention is a stump grinder. Essential for removing stumps after trees have been broken, burnt or carried away by strong winds, fire or flooding, this tool uses a rotating cutting disc that mulches the stump into small pieces.

“Removing stumps following storm or fire damage is essential for aesthetics, safety, and sustainability,” said Nelson. “It not only diminished the need for ongoing maintenance, but also deters insects or wildlife from settling in and causing additional damage.”

Storm cleanup stump grinder

Supplemental equipment options

In addition to the previously mentioned tools, most reclamation jobs will also require one or more of the following depending on the nature, size, and scope of the disaster event:

  • Backhoe: Good for light-duty shoveling and material handling in storm-damaged areas cluttered with debris.
  • Brush cutter: Tackles land and vegetation management challenges from cutting through tall, thick grass to clearing large-scale brush and small trees.
  • Bulldozer: Can push large quantities of scattered debris into piles for disposal. Plus, its tracks provide enhanced stability and traction on treacherous terrain.
  • Front loader/wheel loader: Acts like a mobile shovel that can lift, transport, and load debris onto vehicles for removal.

“Whether you’re cleaning up after a hurricane, flood, or fire, having the correct tools at your disposal is paramount,” said Nelson. “Clearing the land of harmful debris quickly and efficiently reduces hazard potential, gets the landowner back to work, and preserves the area’s natural beauty.”

For more information about mulchers, stump grinders, and other related equipment, visit

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