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Disaster Debris Management

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) has developed the Disaster Debris Management Plan Template  to fill an identified gap in the emergency preparedness planning activities of many cities and towns in the four Western Massachusetts counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire.

In general, pre-emergency planning is essential to creating resilient, safer communities.  Planning helps ensure faster, safer, and less expensive emergency responses that result in lives saved, property protected and the environment safeguarded.  The specific goals of planning for disaster debris management through development of a Disaster Debris Management Plan in advance of an emergency are to:

  • Improve response and recovery times following an emergency
  • Reduce the costs of debris management
  • Qualify for Federal reimbursements

Any municipality may download this template and use it to build their own Disaster Debris Management Plan. The template is provided here as a PDF. Please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager, to obtain the it in a workable Word format. The complete template and appendices can be downloaded as one document here. 

A self-paced, interactive training walks you through the template and assists you in your plan development. (The training has no audio).

This template is divided into two parts.  The first part provides an overview of debris management planning; outlines the emergency organizations that would be involved in debris management and their respective responsibilities; identifies the various hazard situations and management assumptions that would define the debris management process; reviews the local government’s planning and response activities associated with the various stages of the debris management cycle; and defines a concept of operations for debris clearance and removal. A Debris Management Plan Development Checklist has also be developed to be used as a step-by-step guide to ensure that all required information is included in the plan.

The second part is the Appendices, which provide critical reference materials, including a list of acronyms used in the plan, links to on-line disaster debris management resources, FEMA guides and forms, mutual aid agreements and maps, debris management site data samples, state contract user guides, and other key forms and endorsement letters.

A companion Debris Management Response Checklist provides quick step-by-step guidance on how to respond to a real-world debris management incident. Several expense tracking sheets have also been developed to help municipalities monitor expenses during a response. Officials may choose whichever format of these sheets suits their needs:

*These documents are posted as PDFs. Any official desiring the original Word or Excel version should contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.