FACT SHEET: Navigating Your Recovery: Debris Removal

Release Date Release Number
R4 DR-4400-GA FS 001
Release Date:
October 19, 2018

The Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) want Georgians to know the best way to remove debris from their property.

Your first step is to contact your insurance company to file a claim. Prioritize safety as you start your clean-up. Photograph/video damage and keep all receipts for repair work. As you clear debris, look carefully for any visible cables. If you see any cables, wait for professionals to handle them.

As you clean up, be sure to keep in mind the following information:

  • Follow official local guidance when placing debris for collection.
  • Separate debris into six categories when disposing along the curb:
    • Electronics, such as televisions, computers or phones;
    • Large appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves or dishwashers. Be sure to seal or secure the doors so that they are not accessible;
    • Hazardous waste, such as oil, batteries, pesticides, paint or cleaning supplies. If you suspect that materials contain lead-based paint, keep them moist or contain materials in plastic bags so that the paint does not become airborne;
    • Vegetative debris, such as tree branches, leaves or plants;
    • Construction debris, such as drywall, lumber, carpet or furniture; and
    • Household garbage, discarded food, paper or packaging.
  • Place debris away from trees, poles or structures including fire hydrants and meters.
  • Remove any water-damaged materials from your home and place curbside for pickup.
  • Do not block the roadway with debris.

Hurricane Michael left behind fallen trees, limbs and trash from damaged buildings on private and public property. Workers have begun picking up the debris dumped on streets, highways, curbsides and from private yards. Federal and state aid will help pay for removing debris from public property.

For more Hurricane Michael recovery information, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4400

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

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