Debris Management

“Debris management costs, on average, total 45% of the cost of a disaster.”

It is important for local governments to be familiar with state and federal eligibility and reasonable costs guidelines during the planning stage in order to appropriately plan for critical issues such as contracting, monitoring and preparing appropriate documentation to support requests for funding. Cal OES has trained staff that can provide technical assistance, knowledge and experience in order to help applicants maximize disaster funding and speed recovery in the affected areas. In addition, staff can assist with the creation of a debris management plan.

Debris Planning

Debris planning allows communities to be better prepared for a disaster by identifying debris collection and disposal sites, identifying potential debris contractors, and preparing debris removal contracts in advance of a disaster. Only a minority of states and local governments currently have such plans in place.

To maximize resources while minimizing the debris loads to landfills following a disaster, local governments are encouraged to incorporate debris management in their emergency and solid waste management planning activities.

Debris Monitoring

Monitoring debris removal operations requires comprehensive observation and documentation by the jurisdiction for the debris removal work performed from the point of collection to final disposal. Monitoring debris removal work involves constant observation of crews to ensure that workers are performing eligible work in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines and regulations.

​Debris Training

Training for an emergency is an important part of any debris plan. When a jurisdiction practices activation of their plan, it enhances the response in an emergency event, assists with the identification of and response to potential problems, assists with pre-positioning of equipment and supplies, identifies potential activation of mutual assistance arrangements, and helps the management of key assets. Cal OES offers debris training to local jurisdictions and can assist with the review of debris plans.

Technical Assistance

For questions and other debris management related inquiries, please send an email to or call (916) 845-8200.