DWM contingency planning is not, strictly speaking, part of the emergency response. However, it does help bridge the gap between response, recovery and longer-term development and is therefore an important investment. Contingency planning can be conducted during the recovery phase or as a preparedness measure prior to disaster.
Although the recovery process may take a long time, sometimes even multiple years, careful planning can significantly minimise costly mistakes, speed up the recovery, protect human health and the environment, and prevent the generation of additional waste. A plan which identifies cost-effective disaster waste management options and resources can reduce overall costs, increase control over waste management systems, and improve administrative efficiency. The plan may also serve as a resource document in negotiating technical and financial assistance.
An effective Disaster Waste Management Contingency Plan addresses issues beyond initial waste removal since it prioritises additional waste management options, including a strategy for the recycling and reuse of materials (including composting) to reduce the waste volume and subsequent burden on disposal facilities. There are many different possible components of a Disaster Waste Management Contingency Plan.
See the document below for detailed instructions on developing a contingency plan for disaster waste.