Don’t Be Victimized Twice!- Tips on FEMA Debris Removal

Using a FEMA or EPA contractor for debris removal makes a lot of sense. The State and Federal programs offered are heavily subsidized, allowing wildfire victims to concentrate their limited insurance proceeds towards reconstruction and recovery. However, there are some pitfalls you must avoid.

FEMA contractors get paid by the ton, so they are incentivized to remove as much of the original structure as they can. This usually includes your home’s foundations, footings, driveways and retaining walls, some of which may be reusable or repairable. Here are the do’s and don’t:

(1) Make sure you have a written scope of work clearly defined in your contract, and make sure the FEMA contractor understands any footings, walls or driveways you wish to retain
(2) Don’t allow your FEMA contractor to remove retaining walls or building foundations without first having those inspected by a licensed structural engineer or qualified building contractor first
(3) Make sure that all underground utilities, French drains, septic systems and leach fields are clearly marked, and that the contractor is aware of their locations before starting debris removal
(4) Make sure your FEMA contractor leaves the lot in a smooth and level condition, and that this is specified in the contract documents. This will eliminate water ponding on your lot, which could result in expensive dewatering and site preparation costs.

Remember, every dollar used for site prep, soil re-compaction, or used to replace foundations or retaining walls is money you will not have to use for the rebuilding of your home. Trust me, you will need it!

If you have questions about your recovery, or would like me to create a free recovery plan specifically for you, Please call or email me, and we can set up a free consultation. I do this as a free service to all wildfire victims. Don’t get victimized again.

Kelly Konzelman


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