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Lessons Learned: Plan for Managing Disaster Debris
The following suggestions for disaster debris planning are based on insights from community officials who recently have experienced a major natural disaster. Make a Long-term Debris Management Plan Every community consulted suggested increasing existing emergency Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal planning to include long-term debris management. Because natural disasters can generate tremendous quantities of debris, communities should plan for the worst case.
 
Any plan should include a detailed strategy for debris collection, temporary storage and staging areas, recycling, disposal, hazardous waste identification and handling, administration, and dissemination of information to the public. Distribute the plan and work with Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal personnel from each agency to ensure that the plan can be implemented quickly and smoothly. Review the plan at least once a year, and revise it as needed. For example, outdated forms, such as time sheets and materials tracking forms, may need to be replaced.
 
Consider Mutual Aid Arrangements
 Mutual aid arrangements allow communities to quickly access specialized personnel or equipment on a short-term basis. Usually the host community pays the expenses for the personnel as well Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal as any maintenance or repair costs for equipment. These agreements can be developed for a local geographic area or can extend to communities in other states.
 
The agreements can be formal or informal. Implement Recycling Programs Implementing a plan for recycling disaster debris is much easier if a community already has a recycling program in place. Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal Permitting, enforcement, collection, processing, and marketing issues already will have been largely resolved. After a disaster, the community will be faced with expanding current recycling practices rather than designing and implementing new practices.
 
 It is much easier to expand existing capacities and markets than to start these endeavors in the wake of a disaster. Update the Community’s Solid Waste Management Plan It is important that a community’s solid waste management plan reflect current practices and policies, especially those that apply in disaster situations. The plan Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal is an official document that often is filed with the state, and when regional solid waste services or facilities are involved, a copy often is provided to neighboring communities as well.
 
It also can be beneficial to share the plan with private contractors and other community agencies (e.g., fire and police) that in the event of a disaster would be involved with solid waste Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal management services. Should a disaster occur, supporting agencies would find the plan useful because it describes established practices and policies, as well as the types, locations, and capacities of existing solid waste recycling and disposal facilities.
 
Reflecting current practices and policies, the plan also would serve as a resource document in negotiating technical and financial assistance with FEMA and other agencies. Develop a Communication Strategy - Prepare a communication strategy ahead of time. Government officials will need to tell the community when, where, and how trash Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal collection will resume, as well as provide special instructions for reporting and sorting disaster debris.
 
 Many communities have prepared radio announcements Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal and flyers as part of the emergency plan. Depending on the type and severity of the natural disaster, however, a community might lose electricity, telephone service, radio broadcasting capability, or newspaper service. Therefore, communities should prepare for more than one method of communication.
 
Discuss with local media companies the use of free advertising time and space to communicate instructions in the event of a disaster. Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal Prepare for Increased Outreach and Enforcement Staffing Needs In the aftermath of a natural disaster, waste management staff must handle an increased number of telephone calls and requests concerning waste removal.
 
 Communities need more staff to train and monitor debris collection contractors, enforce disposal restrictions, and help solve implementation problems. Identify sources of temporary labor and, if your Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal community is culturally diverse, consider the use of a multilingual telephone bank. Obtain Equipment and Supplies Identify in advance the types of equipment and supplies that your crews will need to implement the plan.
 
 Plan for quick procurement of these items through mutual aid agreements or standing contracts, or consider Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal stockpiling this equipment. If stockpiling is too expensive for one community alone, perhaps the state could stockpile the equipment. Types of equipment that a community might need include chain saws, portable generators, cellular phones, flashlights, batteries, vehicle repair equipment (flat tires occur more often because of glass and metal debris in roads), and extra work clothing.
 
 A local government that routinely stores drinking water (e.g., for its solid waste collection crews) might want to Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal make sure that water supplies are well-stocked during the hurricane or flood season. Select Collection and Storage Sites The most common suggestion from communities that have experienced natural disasters is to pre-select debris staging sites that will be used for temporary storage and processing of debris.
 
 Convenient local sites allow collection crews to reduce travel time when transferring debris to processing or disposal facilities and result in faster street clearing. Site operators can sort debris for recycling or Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal disposal, as well as answer questions from the public. These sites can be used to store green waste before transferring it to another facility, or they can be used to chip and mulch green waste on site.
 
Communities also can use these sites to distribute free mulch or wood to the public. Select the sites based on planned activities, such as staging, collection, storage, sorting, recycling, landfilling, and burning of debris. Pre-selection of sites speeds the implementation of the Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal debris management plan. Also consider access to heavy equipment, lack of impact on environmentally sensitive areas, and convenience to collection routes.
 
 Investigate possible impacts on adjacent housing, since the sites could produce noise at levels deemed unacceptable by residents or attract rodents that may carry disease. Evaluate and document the condition of these sites prior to use. The government agencies involved will be responsible for returning these sites to their original condition. Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal Be sure to establish agreement on the schedule for return of the property to the owners and the degree of rehabilitation to the property.
 
If residents will be asked to bring disaster debris to collection sites, your community should include these locations in its disaster communication strategy, so that information is immediately available to the public in the event of a disaster. Schedules and staffing plans for Contract With FEMA For Debris Removal these sites should take into account that the busiest times for residents dropping off home-related debris are likely to be evenings and weekends.

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