Debris Removal >> Removal_Tree Removal Insurance

If FEMA cannot deliver the needed technical expertise, the odds increase that costs and eligibility of debris removal will become problematic during the recovery phase of the disaster. Communities may be forced to evaluate and select debris removal and monitoring contractors without possessing the necessary expertise or familiarity with FEMA contracting guidance and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance requirements. 

An effective surge can help mitigate the impact of a lack of predisaster debris planning. Cedar Rapids, IA, for example, did not have a debris plan in place prior to major spring flooding in 2008, Removal_Tree Removal Insurance but the debris removal operations went well. A key was the direct technical consulting support for the grantee and subgrantees before contracts were awarded. 

A joint team of FEMA and Iowa Homeland Security debris specialists assisted in this effort. FEMA Region VII staff said "getting in early is the key to helping communities determine whether contractors are providing Removal_Tree Removal Insurance reasonable cost estimates. 

Unclear and Ambiguous Guidance Many officials expressed frustration over unclear and ambiguous debris regulations and policies, which hinder effective debris removal and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance disposal, and create misunderstanding and distrust between FEMA and state and local governments. 

This ambiguity stems not from a lack of effort by FEMA—in fact, the current Public Assistance Debris Management Guide 4 is over 200 pages including appendices, and covers eligibility, planning, and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance operations in some depth—but rather from the complexity and inherent uncertainty of debris removal and disposal. 

The interpretation of how to apply a particular regulation for a specific debris occurrence varies greatly depending on who is doing the interpreting. The consequences for FEMA and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance the grantees can be profound, with audits disallowing millions of dollars of costs that FEMA personnel authorized earlier. 

One state emergency management office we interviewed was in the process of responding to a request to repay millions of dollars for debris removal costs from a 2002 ice storm. This office, Removal_Tree Removal Insurance with a PA staff of three, said debris removal was "the biggest gray area in contracting and "the toughest nut to crack—a constant source of headaches for us." 

This office reported that its applicants had "passed every decision through layers of FEMA approvals" at the time the original disaster cleanup was under way, Removal_Tree Removal Insurance and it was only informed years later that certain vegetative debris removal was ineligible for reimbursement. Several applicants have encountered problems with tipping fees. 

FEMA reimburses tipping fees to compensate applicants for the diminished capacity of a landfill resulting from the Removal_Tree Removal Insurance disposal of disaster-generated debris. FEMA disallowed $7.7 million in tipping fee charges in an Alabama county based on the argument that the applicant based tipping fees on the volume of raw vegetative debris instead of the diminished volume of burned debris. 

FEMA challenged tipping fees in a Tennessee county because different rates had been applied for in-county and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance out-of county debris removal contractors per the county's customary practice. We reviewed the latest FEMA guidance and found only two limited references to tipping fees; neither addressed the above issues. 

Recent controversies in Kentucky and New York have centered on the appropriateness of debris removal costs; in both cases FEMA disputed the costs paid to contractors for debris removal even though the costs were arrived at through competitive bidding. While competitive procurement usually establishes that the debris removal rates are reasonable, Removal_Tree Removal Insurance it does not establish that a contractor removed only eligible debris. 

Nor does it ensure that proper documentation exists to substantiate an applicant's claim. No Substitute for FEMA "Boots on the Ground" There is widespread agreement among state and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance local officials that a visible FEMA presence at a disaster site has a direct impact on reducing fraud and abuse. A commonly cited example involves load calls from debris monitors in towers. 

Debris specialists and public assistance officials said when no FEMA employee is present, Removal_Tree Removal Insurance incoming trucks are virtually all recorded at or near 100% capacity, but as soon as a FEMA employee or official representative is in the tower, the load calls drop to 60% to 70%. These anecdotal observations were supported by findings from a FEMA after-action report: 

During the early stages of this disaster, the limited availability of DAEs and TACs [Technical Assistance Contractors] prevented FEMA from manning the debris towers. Due to this applicant monitors made higher calls. This Removal_Tree Removal Insurance resulted in a 15 to 20% increase in debris costs statewide. Most of the calls were between 90 to 100%. 

If available personnel could be quickly deployed FEMA would have saved $20 million on this disaster alone. Delayed Project Closeouts Exacerbate Problems A key debris management and oversight issue is the need to estimate, scope, and close out projects appropriately and timely. Numerous officials reported that waste, fraud, and abuse tend to multiply toward the end of debris projects, when the debris mission starts winding down and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance contractors become "more creative in filling their trucks." 

This is a theme that cuts across all PA program areas and has been addressed by us, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and others . Our recent report 7 identified a number of recommendations for closing out disasters more promptly and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance efficiently. Developing a Performance Measurement Framework 

Although FEMA spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to support, plan, and implement debris removal programs across the country, Removal_Tree Removal Insurance there is no integrated performance measurement framework to manage and provide oversight over this complex activity. A contractor has been hired to develop an improved tracking system. 

Ideally, program managers would have access to information to measure, analyze, and improve program performance. An integrated performance measurement system would enable managers to compare performance in different regions, under different scenarios, to provide fact-based information to partners and stakeholders regarding costs, contractor and partner performance, effectiveness, efficiency, and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance other factors determined to be important to future decision making. 

The need for a performance measurement framework surfaced at a number of states and localities. Officials said it would be helpful to have historical and comparative cost data to assist in the evaluation and selection of debris removal and monitoring contractors. FEMA is working with a contractor to develop a cost model database that states and Removal_Tree Removal Insurance communities can use to compare prices of specific items, which will make the market for debris removal and monitoring services more open and transparent.

How To Remove Smoke Smell From Your House

Diseases of the circulatory system include high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, and cerebrovascular conditions, such as hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) that bring blood to the brain. These chronic conditions can rende  read more..

Flood Zone Maps And Asbestos Disposal

As the flooding recedes, communities are moving from the more immediate emergency response to longer term cleanup and recovery. The Department has updated this section of its guidance to reflect the changing nature of the disaster response, and to clarify questions we have received regarding buildin  read more..

Pipe Leaks

Water Damage Pipe Leaks could be called the silent destroyer, there might be a water leak for days that goes unnoticed then squish you step into it with your stocking feet. But, you think, where did it come from, it’s fairly close to the kitchen sink. You open the cabinet and pull everything out from insid  read more..

Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home

Most building codes require crawlspace vents to aid in removing moisture from the crawlspace. However, many building professionals are now recognizing that an unvented crawlspace (or closing crawlspace vents after the crawlspace has had time to dry out after construction) is the best option in homes  read more..

Sick Building Syndrome

Psychological factors Excessive work stress or dissatisfaction, poor interpersonal relationships and poor communication are often seen to be associated with SBS. Poor and inappropriate lighting with absence of sunlight, bad acoustics, poor ergonomics Radon Mitigation Sick Building Syndrome and humidity may also contribute t  read more..

Black Mold

Skin and Eye Protection Gloves are required to protect the skin from contact with mold allergens (and in some cases black mold toxins) Mold Remediation Black Mold and from potentially irritating cleaning solutions. Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended. The glove material shou  read more..

How To Repair Fire And Water Damage

Five members of Congress were recognized this month by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for their exemplary work relating to fire service activities.Honored as NFPA Legislator of the Yearfor distinguished achievements from last year were Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina; Co  read more..

Samples Taken By Lead Paint Workers

Samples for dry manual sanding were taken at three different work sites; at each site, three samples were taken on an individual worker while he or she worked on one visually uniform paint surface. A distribution of potential full-shift exposures was modeled for work at each work site. It was assume  read more..

Should You Remove Insulation In An Attic After Rac

Under this alternative ADC would not assist in resolving bird damage problems. Current and potential cooperating facilities would have to withstand losses and the risk of disease problems or resort to their own BDM. Their costs for conducting their own BDM would depend on the methods chosen.   read more..

How To Get Ready For A Hurricane

Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris. Overland flooding, Emergency Board up How To Get Ready For A Hurricane the most common type   read more..