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Natural Disaster Debris Removal Tips

A natural disaster can happen anytime, and after a disaster hits, the last thing on your mind is cleaning up the debris. However, it is an imperative step in reacting to a disaster. It’s important to get a debris management plan in place for emergencies. This will save time and money by delegating tasks ahead of time and not rushing into any decisions.

A debris management plan should identify options for collection, recycling, and disposing of debris. Typically homeowners are responsible for cleaning up the debris, but may be reimbursed after the job by homeowners insurance. Individuals should have a company in mind if the time comes.

What to consider while choosing a company:

  • Find out if the potential company is fully licensed and insured. This is important because they are there to help the situation, not further damage your property or belongings.
  • Decisions should not be based strictly on price. The price may be dirt cheap, but is that company using the proper equipment? Do they have proper training and permits? Probably not.

In some cases, disaster debris may be buried or burned in the community. This should be avoided because burying can contaminate the water and soil, and burning the debris can cause air pollution. This is why it’s important to choose a professional company that knows how to properly recycle and dispose of the debris.

Disaster debris can be recycled. Green waste (any organic matter like trees and shrubs) can be transformed into compost or mulch, metal can be recycled and sold to metal dealers and scrappers, and farmers can use dirt for landfill cover and soil.

Note: This is not a full guide to dealing with debris from a natural disaster. Debris management plans may require input from local officials.