United States
Environmental Protection
March 2008
EPA Helps Communities Plan
Ahead for Natural Disasters
                 The Environmental Protection Agency is helping U.S. communities plan for and
             safely manage debris created from natural disasters.

             Each year, natural disasters, such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes,
         tornados, and winter storms challenge American communities. These disasters
         can create large amounts of debris, which can include building rubble, sediments,
         vegetative debris, wood waste, personal property, and other materials. Cleaning up
         this debris is often the longest and costliest element of disaster recovery. To help
         communities prepare to clean up after one of these  events, EPA has developed the
         Planning for Natural Disaster Debris guide.
             The guide, based on experiences of other communities and states, provides helpful
         planning suggestions and steps that local officials can take to prepare for dealing with
         the waste that is created by natural disasters. One of the main recommendations is
         that local communities develop disaster debris management plans. These plans help
         determine how disaster debris will be managed before a natural disaster happens. In
         addition the guide includes information on:
                Management options for various debris streams that might be found after a
                natural disaster.
                A collection of case studies that highlights how several communities prepared
                for and managed debris generated by recent natural disasters.
                A list of federal, state, and local resources to consult in planning for natural
             This document was developed as an update to the Planning for Disaster Debris
         guide that EPA published in 1995. This updated version provides local communities
         with current disaster debris-related information, consistent with information
         provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and individual states,
         and emphasizes the importance of managing disaster debris in an environmentally
         protective manner.

         For More Information
             For a copy of the document, please visit: