JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A rumor that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hiring contractors to remove ice storm debris from private citizen or business property in Missouri is false, federal and state officials said today.
Neither FEMA nor the state will reimburse private citizens for expenses incurred in removing debris from private property.
Some independent waste haulers are hiring workers to help in the cleanup. The state and federal government do not recommend or endorse any particular or specific contractor. Property owners should be suspicious of any contractor who says, or presents literature, saying that they are working for or endorsed by any government agency.
Senior citizens or those who are physically unable to move the debris to the curb should contact United Way 211. The United Way 211 in Missouri is coordinating the volunteer groups to help the elderly and special needs citizens move debris from their property and transport it to the curb/public right of way to be picked up by their municipality. They may also help people who are on a fixed income and unable to afford to hire debris removal services.
To assist the ongoing effort to remove debris, state and federal specialists want Missourians to know:
- Before hiring anyone, they should check with their insurance company to find out if their policy covers debris removal.
- Municipal, county, state, and federal agencies are not authorized to remove debris from private property except in situations where the debris is deemed to pose an extraordinary threat to human health and safety.
- Property owners should make sure their debris piles do not block the right-of-way; obstruct mailboxes, fire hydrants or utility meters; or block drains or ditches which could result in flooding.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.