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Hurricane Ian Recover: Debris Removal Issues

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It has now been about a month since Hurricane Ian devastated Southwest Florida. The clean-up process is ongoing, and many community associations still have significant amounts of debris to deal with. One option that may be available to community associations to address debris removal is authorizing entry by county contractors to remove materials.

The Stafford Act is a federal law designed to provide federal assistance to state and local governments after a natural disaster. President Biden signed an emergency declaration for Florida after Hurricane Ian that authorized Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) to provide assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota. When a municipality obtains FEMA approval for debris removal from private roads and property, condominium and homeowners’ associations will generally need to execute a right of entry agreement to grant permission for the municipality’s contractors to access the property. Generally, community associations are not eligible for direct assistance from FEMA for debris removal.

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