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Disaster debris management best practice case studies

Julia Crowley, PhD


Objective: To identify debris management best practices for planning and responding to debris-generating disaster events.

Methodology: Four best practice county case studies were selected through the responses of emergency management directors to an initial survey about debris management. Interviews were setup with the emergency management directors, and additional interviewees were identified through snowballing. Interviews were conducted, transcribed, and coded to identify six themes.

Results: The six themes that were identified through the coding include: debris management plans, challenges, collaboration, learning, communication, and debris operations. Case study interviewees identified their pre-event debris management plans as important for an effective and efficient debris management process. Interviewees also demonstrated a strong willingness to work together on debris management as well as an understanding of individual roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, interviewees address the concept of learning from past disaster events as a means of managing the uncertainty of disaster debris management.


disaster debris management, learning from disaster, planning

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