Hurricane season is here. Now is the time for your community to take steps to ensure debris removal in your community is eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding.
As your community association braces for hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, there are steps you should take now to increase the possibility of getting assistance from FEMA for recovery efforts.
If your community owns your roads, they are considered private and FEMA has specific requirements for removing debris from private roads. FEMA will not reimburse the community associations for debris removal. Debris must be removed by your local municipality.
Contact your local elected officials and ask them to pass an ordinance giving the locality authority to remove debris from your community following a disaster. This local ordinance meets one* of FEMA’s requirements for reimbursing localities for removing debris from a community association’s private roads. If your community association is granted this ordinance from your locality, you can use it for all future natural disasters.
Hilton Head, S.C., passed this type of ordinance for community associations and saved millions of dollars that would’ve otherwise been paid by association residents. Click here to view a sample ordinance.
*FEMA’s other requirements are typically met immediately following a presidentially declared disaster.
A disaster is imminent
Contact your local elected officials and ask them to pass an emergency resolution giving the locality the authority to remove debris from your community following a disaster. This will meet one of FEMA’s requirements for reimbursing localities for removing debris from private roads.
Submit a right of entry indemnification form to your locality so that it has legal authority to access community association property for the purpose of performing inspections and/or emergency protective measures resulting from the natural disaster.
Immediately following the disaster declaration by the governor or the president contact the locality to ask them to remove debris from your community.
Immediately following a presidentially declared disaster
If your community association did not submit a right of entry indemnification form prior to the natural disaster, follow these steps before hiring a contractor to remove debris: The community association must contact the local municipality as soon as possible and provide them with an example of a resolution the locality may pass to meet the legal obligation of removing debris, and a completed right of entry indemnification form, which FEMA requires for reimbursements.
Finally, wait for your locality to remove debris since they can be reimbursed by FEMA. The community association will not be reimbursed by FEMA for debris removal.