Proper Debris Management

Issue 13

Over a recent five-year period, “debris” accounted for approximately 27 percent 1 of the total cost of a disaster. Yet debris management remains one of the most overlooked and least- planned-for components of disaster response and recovery. The removal of debris after a disaster is funded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program under Category A, Debris Removal.

What Debris Work is Eligible?

According to the FEMA 325 Public Assistance Debris Management Guide, July 2007, eligible work is defined as “the removal and disposal of debris that was generated by a disaster and which presents an immediate threat to the public interest.” However, this definition has been further refined by FEMA’s debris policies and regulations, recapped as follows:


In previous issues of Disaster Recovery Today we have discussed various types of disasters, including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, terrorism and tornados. Although these events are very different, a by-product common to all of them is debris.

In this issue, author Kevin Cahill addresses the importance of including debris removal in a well-designed disaster recovery plan and highlights some of the pervasive issues that arise during the debris-removal phase of a disaster.

It’s information that is both insightful and practical!

Sheila E.Salvatore Editor

Kevin Cahill

Proper Debris Management — Key to Disaster Recovery and FEMA Assistance