Waste Disposal for Natural Disasters

It pays to be prepared! Solid waste experts agree, it’s essential to have a plan in place to handle waste disposal long before a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, or flooding hits your area. Once a natural disaster has hit, a municipality goes into crisis mode and it’s almost impossible to plan effectively of how to deal with the resulting waste and devastation. Not having a viable course of action for disaster preparation is a disservice to members of your community as it greatly slows the process of rebuilding and recovery after the disaster has passed.

While disaster planning is essential, patience also is necessary. Municipalities should allow for three to four days before entering the area with heavy equipment designed to clear debris. Residents and business owners need time to salvage belongings from structurally sounds homes and buildings before demolition and to psychologically process what has occurred – and what is about to happen.

However, waiting too long can also have adverse effects. For example, fuel tank leaks at service stations pose a dangerous situation and must be immediately addressed. In addition, vehicles and debris must be cleared from the road to allow for emergency services and medical assistance.

It’s also important to remember that different kinds of natural disasters result in different debris issues. A tornado results in different waste management problems than a flood. The first results in immediate waste disposal needs while the other will occur when people return to their homes and start clearing out the damage. Being prepared for both is essential.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Every region of the United States is prone to different natural disasters – whether it be hurricanes, tornado, flooding, or heavy snowfall. It pays to have a plan in place for proper waste disposal before bad weather hits.