Analysis of State Disaster Debris Management Plans
MetadataShow full metadata
The heart of Emergency Management and Solid Waste Management is the protection of public life, health, welfare and the environment. This is at the very core of Public Administration. Disaster Debris Management is the combination of essential elements of these two disciplines. Disasters generate tremendous amounts of debris that need to be managed in order to protect the public. Prior to Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste legislation in the mid-1990's most communities either burned or buried the enormous amount of debris left behind after a disaster. In the 90's both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took a different look at disaster debris. Each agency developed a guide for dealing with disaster debris. The purpose of the research is three-fold: 1) to describe the need for planning and management of disaster debris; 2) to describe the ideal characteristics of an effective disaster debris management plan as established by the Federal Emergency Management Environmental Agency; 3) to gauge the Emergency/Debris Management Plans of states against the standards established by FEMA. Content analysis is the research method employed for this project. Babbie (1998, 308) defines content analysis as a researcher's examination of a class of social artifacts, typically written documents. Content analysis is an appropriate data source for this research because the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Debris Management Guide, 1999, establishes a "practical ideal type" far all Debris Management Plans. The technique of content analysis will also allow for expediency and accuracy in exploring current status of State Debris Management Plans. The results of this research project show that state Disaster Debris Management Plans fall well short of the "practical ideal type" established by FEMA. The lack of adequate debris management plans indicates that state officials are still depending on the resource wasteful methods of burning and burying to handle disaster generated debris.