Debris Removal >> How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency

Participating states said that having a debris management plan and prequalified debris contractors facilitated better-organized and managed debris removal operations. FEMA received feedback on the pilot program from regional, state, and local stakeholders, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency who said that the pilot program encouraged debris planning. 

The debris workshops and the increase in federal cost share provided incentives for states and localities to develop and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency maintain debris plans. One FEMA regional PA official described the mandated expiration of the pilot program as "the worst thing FEMA could have done," noting that local jurisdictions were active in developing debris plans but lost interest when the program was terminated, and financial incentives and resources were withdrawn.

A comprehensive debris management plan takes a significant amount of time to develop and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency implement at the local level. The planning provision of the pilot program was not widely used until later in the implementation phase; 180 of the total 234 project worksheets for planning were prepared during the last 4 months of the pilot program. 

Local officials said some FEMA regions were slow to process and approve the plans and many plans were,therefore, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency not approved during the pilot program. FEMA headquarters officials said that delays in approval were often due to the necessity for FEMA to work with some applicants to assist them in compiling a plan that would meet the criteria for approval.

Additionally, many state and local officials said that they did not have a major debris-generating event during the program, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency so they did not participate. Contractor Management Challenges Disaster planning and preparedness are essential in addressing disaster-related debris in a time-efficient manner. Also, prequalifying local or regional debris removal contractors ensures the immediate availability of coordinated debris removal support.

These two elements assist communities not only in preparing for debris operations, but also in handling the large influx of potential debris contractors. These contractors arrive almost immediately after an event, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency often days or weeks before FEMA debris specialists. Without planning and FEMA debris policy knowledge, communities are not well prepared to control the contracting process.

Certain contractors with experience in multiple disasters have learned how to "beat the system," allegedly using FEMA logos on their personal items, making it appear that they are FEMA employees, and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency claiming to be "FEMA certified." According to FEMA policy, FEMA does not recommend, pre-approve, or certify any debris contractor.

Some contractors are adept at exploiting flaws in the system.Contractors were reported to "lowball" their bids and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency compensate by collecting ineligible debris, including debris well beyond the right-of-way, and even clear-cutting on public lands. Some contractors were reported to coordinate bids between companies.

Others promote monitoring firms that are related to, or even owned by, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency their company. FEMA reimburses direct administrative costs incurred by grantees and subgrantees that are properly documented and directly chargeable for a specific project. This means that local governments can contract out the management of a debris removal project and be reimbursed at the cost-share rate established for the disaster declaration. 

Contractors promise local governments that they will maximize the money obtainable from FEMA and that all of the local government's costs will be reimbursed if they are hired to handle all aspects of the debris operations. This presents an enticing arrangement for local governments because it is simple, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency and many local governments do not have the staff or funding to handle the operations on their own. 

As a result, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency administrative costs can be disproportionately high as a percentage of total project cost. Several officials told us that administrative costs were"getting out of control."The Impact of Debris Planning Tennessee was struck by severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes beginning on April 30, 2010, and continuing until May 18, 2010. 

DR1909 was declared on May 4, 2010. The Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management had rewritten its local debris management plan, which included locations of staging and landfill sites, in 2009. A draft contract had already been prepared when the May 2 to 3, 2010,flooding struck. The city sent the contract and plans to FEMA and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency the Army Corps of Engineers and received comments within hours. 

As a result, a contractor was in place within 3 days How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency and debris removal started within 7 days after the event. The result of their efforts was effective and efficient debris removal at a reasonable cost. Conclusion Debris management plans help communities prepare for disaster related debris removal and ultimately enhance the recovery process. 

To be effective, however, these plans need to identify critical elements of the debris removal process, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency including the prequalification of contractors and the identification of disposal sites. Such plans need to be reviewed and approved in a timely manner. FEMA regional offices have not been clearly in charge of this role and some did not approve plans in a timely manner under the pilot program. 

Since the states are the grantees for FEMA debris funding, How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency which is sub-granted to counties and cities, it would be appropriate for the states rather than FEMA to approve local government debris management plans. It is also likely that the states could do so in a timelier manner. Recommendation We recommend that the Associate Administrator, Response and Recovery: 

Recommendation #1: Provide a provision of an additional 5% federal cost share,not to exceed 100%, to applicants with a FEMA-approved debris management plan and at least two prequalified debris and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency wreckage removal contractors identified prior to a disaster. Require disposal site identification to be part of the debris management plan. 

Allow qualified states that have completed their own plan to approve local jurisdictions' debris disposal plans.Management Comments and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency OIG Analysis FEMA concurs with the first and second parts of the recommendation. 

The agency is considering revisions to its regulations that would incorporate an increased federal share initiative and would require PA applicants to identify debris management sites and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency final disposal sites in their debris management plans in order to qualify for the increased federal share. 

FEMA is still considering the third part of the recommendation and How To Remove Storm Damage Debris In An Emergency will evaluate a significant role for states in the review and approval of debris management plans.We agree with the initiatives FEMA is considering to improve the debris planning process.

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