Before, During, and After the Storm
Hurricane Information & Guidelines
The following list will help you get ready for hurricane season.
Pre Hurricane Season Maintenance December Through April
All major cutting of vegetation (i.e., tree removal) should be completed long before June 1, the beginning of hurricane season. Do all major cutting/tree removal from December 1 through April 30. SWA arranges for removal of debris from routine yard maintenance throughout the year. If you are having trees removed or doing any other major cutting, be sure to have your contractor include the price of debris removal as part of their service. Debris from major cutting or tree removal will need to be transported to the SWA landfill or any SWA permitted facility. There is a fee for disposal.
- Arrange to cut back all trees and weak branches that could contact buildings.
- Have your foliage thinned so wind can flow freely through branches, decreasing the chance that trees/plants will be uprooted.
- Place vegetation material from routine maintenance (up to 6 cubic yards - equivalent to 3 standard size refrigerators) at the curb on your regular scheduled collection day and follow the 6/50 rule (i.e., each piece cannot exceed 50 lbs in weight or 6 feet in length).
- Containerize small pieces of vegetation such as pine needles, leaves, twigs, etc. in bags or cans that weigh less than 50 lbs when full and place at the curb on your scheduled day.
- Clean your yard of any items that could pose a danger to you or your neighbors in hurricane force winds such as old lumber, broken lawn furniture, etc. and place curbside on your bulk waste collection day.
Once a Storm has been Named
- Do not cut down trees or do major yard work.
- Do not begin construction projects that produce debris.
- Once a watch or warning has been issued, do not trim vegetation of any kind.
- Mass cutting places a tremendous burden on the collection and disposal processes and there is not enough equipment or manpower to handle the additional material before the storm makes landfall. You could put not only yourself at risk but your neighbors as well.
- Do not take materials to the curb, transfer stations or landfill during a watch or warning period. Services may be suspended and facilities closed early to prepare for the storm.
What SWA Will Do Following A Storm After the Storm has Passed
- Please be patient.
- Keep household garbage, recycling and vegetative and/or construction storm debris in separate piles.
- SWA's number one priority is the collection of household garbage.
- Securely containerize all household garbage in plastic bags or cans to be placed curbside on your scheduled day.
- Don't place any debris near or on a fence, mailbox, power line equipment, poles, transformers, downed electrical wiring, water meters, fire hydrants or storm drains.
- Be prepared to repair possible damage to swale areas from the specialized equipment used to collect storm debris.
- Contact the SWA Customer Information Services at 561-697-2700 or 866-792-4636 (toll-free).
Once a major storm has passed, the SWA's response plan includes the following tasks:
- Re-establishing normal household garbage and food waste collection is our first priority.
- It may be 3-6 weeks before the first collection of storm debris (vegetation and building material) is provided.
- Clean vegetation only will be collected on the first pass with construction debris and mixed loads (construction debris mixed with vegetation) on subsequent passes
- Please do not call and ask that trucks be pulled from scheduled routes to pick up your own debris first. Deviation from carefully planned routes causes delays in the entire process and creates a burden to those with the greatest need.
||Days to Complete
|Assess all areas of unincorporated Palm Beach County to determine amount of damage, debris, and hardest hit areas
|Set up temporary debris sites
|Deployment of specialized storm debris collection equipment
|Complete collection of storm debris
- There is no reimbursement provided to any individual resident or homeowner association who hires a private contractor to remove and dispose of storm related debris.
- For additional information, contact the SWA Customer Information Services at 561-697-2700 or 866-792-4636 (toll-free).
- Debris Management Meeting
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Florida Division of Emergency Management
- National Hurricane Center
- News Channel 12's Doppler12000 Radar
- PBC Debris Management Plan (PDF)
- PBC Debris Recovery Ordinance
- PBC Division of Emergency Management
- PBC Environmental Resource Management Tips on Proper Pruning Techniques (PDF)
- PBC Extension Service Spring Tree Maintenance Advice (PDF)
- PBC Tips on Hiring a Contractor to Trim Vegetation on Your Property
- Storm Preparedness Guidelines (PDF)
- Weather Underground Tropical