These actions are initiated within hours of the disaster onset and start with a hazard ranking using the following steps to identify most urgent priorities:
- Identify waste issues: Determine geographical distribution of disaster waste through governmental sources, hazard identification, geographical information systems, news and information gathered from local agencies as well as communities
- Characterise waste: Quantity, composition and quality of the identified waste streams and dumps/landfills through site visits and waste sampling/analyses even if it is cursory
- Map waste: Compile the above data in a waste map of the affected area. The map will be a valuable tool throughout the process and can be updated as further information becomes available
- Assess waste: Develop a plan outlining necessary actions and next steps for affected areas. Where waste is present, determine if there is also a ‘pathway’ and a ‘receptor’ for hazardous substances
- Prioritise Actions: Each identified waste stream and/or issue is given a ‘common sense’ ranking based on the guide found
See below for relevant tools and resources.