Houston businesses are just as affected by residents when a storm such as Hurricane Harvey makes landfall. The key is having the necessary resources for storm debris removal. With this in mind, we pulled together some of the most commonly asked questions we have received over the years.
Answers to Your Questions About Debris Removal
Question #1: Should I Contact My Insurance Agency?
Business owners need a starting point to recover from storm damage, especially if your business is flooded.
The City of Houston recommends starting with a phone call to your insurance agent to file a claim for remediation. Included in your claim should be the cost of debris demolition and removal from your place of business.
Question #2: Can I Still Use the Business Recycling Program?
The City of Houston offers their Business Recycling Program to small to medium-sized businesses throughout the year. However, in the aftermath of a storm, city officials may suspend the program for a period of time until facilities are available.
After a storm hits, you should check the city’s website for regular updates on the status of the program. They may also extend the program to storm debris collection if there is significant damage to businesses.
Question #3: Can I Use Neighborhood Depository Centers?
During normal operations, the City of Houston’s Neighborhood Depository/Recycling Centers are only to be used by residents. However, depending on the nature of the storm, city officials will consider making an exception for businesses to drop off storm debris. Be sure to monitor their website to know when an exception is made.
If the city does make an exception, but you have a significant amount of debris that cannot be transported to the nearest depository, then you should consider utilizing a roll-off dumpster and the appropriate service handler to remove the debris.
Question #4: Is Debris Removal Included in the Disaster Response Registry?
Following a major storm, you can register your company to receive assistance through the U.S. government’s Disaster Response Registry.
The registry includes contractors that provide debris removal — among other services — to help your business recover. After completing the registration process (2-3 days), you will be matched up with the appropriate contractor to receive assistance.
Question #5: Should I Apply for a Disaster Loan?
If your place of business experienced extensive damage, you should consider applying for a Disaster Loan.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans up to $2 million. If approved, you can use the funds for debris removal and other services to keep your business moving.
Get Answers from the City of Houston
To find the right option for storm debris removal for your business after a storm, contact the City of Houston. You can also contact the local Chamber of Commerce that serves your area.
If you need further assistance from the Small Business Administration or FEMA, visit the City of Houston website for important information and phone numbers.