Regional Debris Management Capability Assessment

Preparing Southeastern Pennsylvania for a Debris-Generating Event

We performed a regional debris management assessment for five counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA): Philadelphia, Chester, Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery. This assessment helps SEPA's Regional Task Force be better prepared in the event of a debris-caused disaster operation. We researched and assessed all existing resources, planning, and procedures that would be used to respond to a debris-generating event, including a review of each counties' debris management plans, determining their compliance with FEMA's debris management review checklist.


visits to potential temporary debris management sites

We assessed more than 20 potential temporary debris management sites for adequacy of use in the occasion of a debris-generating event. To determine if the sites were appropriate for a debris operation, we developed three debris forecast scenarios: a one-inch ice storm, a category one hurricane, and a 100-year flood. The general approach of these forecasts was to collect geographic information system data for the five counties, incorporate data into our existing debris forecasting models, and calculate and map the resulting estimated debris quantities.

Based on findings from the research conducted over the course of this assessment, a regional debris management tabletop exercise was developed and conducted with participants from the five counties. Observations from the exercise served as the basis for an after-action report, which details strengths and areas for improvement relevant to debris management. Recommendations to address these strengths and areas for improvement were captured in a final report to further enhance SEPA's preparedness through future planning and exercises.


Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force




  • Planning, Consulting and Advisory


  • Risk, Response and Recovery


  • Northeast