There are many issues that need to be considered when planning disaster management responses that affect the environment after a disaster. In order for disaster management to be fully effective the post-planning phase must be thought out and in place so that it can be implemented as soon as the disaster is over. Waste management is necessary to start clearing the debris left from the disaster. Debris must be sorted, cleared, disposed, and recycled if at all possible. Water contamination is also of very high concern after a disaster. Proper assessment of the water supply for pollution and contamination must be done immediately for drinking and other uses. Appropriate handling of the toxic and hazardous materials left exposed after a disaster is another aspect to consider. Asbestos in buildings that were destroyed, landfills, all the way up to toxic, flammable, and hazardous materials that are stored in facilities like the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Commerce City, Colorado must be considered when planning for a disaster.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the hazardous waste landfill “is a double lined landfill constructed to hold approximately 1.2 million cubic yards of material consisting of soil, buried debris and building debris which presented a potential risk to human health (“Arsenal,” n.d., p. 1)” where munitions and chemical warfare agents, such as sarin and mustard gas, were disposed of. Even though Colorado is a landlocked state and the best planning and construction were utilized when building the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, disaster can strike at any time. Time is of the essence after a disaster and having these plans in place so that the appropriate stakeholder can begin the response steps is essential to a strong disaster management plan. Ways to improve the environmental impact and possible suggestions or solutions
Rocky Mountain Arsenal. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www2.epa.gov/region8/rocky-mountain-arsenal