California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Integrated Waste Management Disaster Plan

Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1. Government Coordination

In the event of a disaster, local government officials must know whom to contact for assistance and must understand the roles and responsibilities of the other governmental agencies involved in order to effectively coordinate recovery efforts. This chapter outlines the roles and responsibilities of the local, State, and federal agencies with respect to disaster debris management.

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Chapter 2. Predisaster Assessment

This chapter discusses the need to conduct a program assessment in each community to determine the quantity and types of materials likely to be generated in a particular disaster. This is important because development of particular diversion programs will depend on the type and amount of debris generated as well as the end-uses identified for the materials.

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Chapter 3. Debris Management Programs

This chapter contains the "how-to" information a local jurisdiction would need to establish a debris management program. Three programs are highlighted: curbside collection, building demolition, and household hazardous waste.

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Chapter 4. Temporary Storage Sites

Local governments have identified temporary storage sites as the primary obstacle in establishing a debris management program. Without the ability to stockpile or store the disaster debris until such time as a jurisdiction can turn its attention to processing and marketing the materials, the debris is probably destined for the landfill.

This chapter will discuss determining the need for temporary storage sites and the criteria to use in selecting such sites.

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Chapter 5. Contracts

Contracts and franchise agreements are pivotal to ensuring a successful debris management program. Unless diversion is specified, it is likely the collected debris will be disposed of. By developing model contracts for debris removal and recycling, and by prequalifying contractors in advance, a jurisdiction can save valuable time in implementing its recovery operations.

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Chapter 6. Reimbursement

A disaster can be devastating to a jurisdiction's resources, both in personnel and in funds. The job of protecting lives and property will begin immediately after the disaster; however, funding from the State and FEMA will not follow so quickly.

To get started in its recovery efforts, a jurisdiction must be knowledgeable about the state and federal reimbursement programs and the process for requesting funding. This chapter also provides guidelines for receiving reimbursement for recycling programs even if they are not "least cost" as is FEMA's policy.

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Chapter 7. Mutual Aid

Each local jurisdiction relies first on its own resources, then calls for assistance.  This chapter provides an overview of the different mutual aid agreements that a jurisdiction can develop or become a signatory to: Public Works Mutual Aid, Public Information Officers Mutual Aid and Emergency Managers Mutual Aid.

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Chapter 8. Curbside Collection Program

One of the primary methods used by jurisdictions to remove material after a disaster is a curbside waste pickup program. Cities and counties implement curbside pickup programs to remove debris from the street after businesses and homeowners have placed the materials in front of the property.

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Chapter 9. Building Demolition Program

This chapter sets forth general guidelines for establishing a building demolition program, emphasizing diversion (reuse, recycling) of waste generated as a result of the demolition. The information presented here is taken primarily from the City of Los Angeles' building demolition and debris removal program initiated after the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the County of Humboldt's demolition program after the 1992 earthquake. These demolition programs are offered as examples of how two jurisdictions approached the task of setting up such a program.

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Chapter 10. Household Hazardous Waste and Disaster Planning

The purpose of this chapter is to provide assistance to local jurisdictions in developing a disaster plan for the collection of household hazardous wastes (HHW). The purpose of disaster planning for HHW is to minimize potential public health and safety impacts, as well as to minimize costs and confusion.

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Chapter 11. Public Information Program

The success of a diversion program lies with the effectiveness of its public information or outreach program. An effective public information program will realize two goals: Provide adequate advertisement of the debris collection program and Educate the residents and contractors involved in carrying out the program.

Unless this program is taken seriously and resources applied to implement it, plans to recycle and otherwise divert the disaster debris may go unrealized.

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Chapter 12. Rebuilding Using Recycled-Content Products

After the disaster recovery is well underway, residents and businesses will begin rebuilding. Rebuilding includes two aspects that are important for disaster planning: Selecting recycled-content products (RCP) for building, Separating materials at the construction jobsite to maximize recovery.

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Chapter 13. Standardized Emergency Management System

As a result of the 1991 East Bay Hills Fire in Oakland (Oakland Firestorm), Senate Bill 1841 was passed by the Legislature and made effective 1/1/93. The law is found in Section 8607 of the California Government Code. The intent of this law is to improve the coordination of state and local emergency response in California. The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) regulations took effect in September of 1994.

The use of SEMS is required for State response agencies. Local government agencies must use SEMS if they are to receive State funding for extraordinary response personnel costs resulting from a disaster.

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Chapter 14. Emergency and Disaster Declaration Process

The process to request State and/or federal assistance after a disaster or emergency is initiated when the local governing body or the Governor submits a formal request to the appropriate State or federal office.

This chapter covers the declaration of a local emergency, funding for the NDAA program, and the assistance available with a Governor's Proclamation of a State of Emergency.

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Chapter 15. State Natural Disaster Assistance (NDAA) Program

The Natural Disaster Assistance Act (NDAA) is activated after: A local declaration of emergency, A Governor's Proclamation of a State Emergency and A Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster or Emergency.

Once the NDAA is activated, local government is eligible for certain types of assistance, depending upon the specific declaration or proclamation issued. This chapter outlines the types of assistance available and the application procedure for requesting that assistance.

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Chapter 16. Federal Public Assistance Program

It is the responsibility of the local communities and the State to respond when a natural disaster occurs; however, the results of the disaster may overwhelm their combined efforts to effectively handle the recovery. In these instances, the State can request federal assistance to supplement the State and local efforts.

This chapter provides an overview of federal assistance available under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and the Federal Response Plan.

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Chapter 17. Case Studies

Three case studies are included in this plan--the 1991 Oakland Firestorm, and the City of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita responses to the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The case studies examine how each city established diversion programs to handle the disaster debris generated within their communities and offer some lessons learned and planning guidelines for future events.

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Last updated: November 16, 2004
Disaster Preparedness and Response
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