How To: Use ArcGIS to support debris removal operations

Blog Post created by jneuner-esristaff Employee on Sep 1, 2017

After a disaster event, one of the longest running operations is removal and disposal of debris. Between damaged and destroyed structures and built up vegetation and dirt, the work to clean up an area affected turns into a community effort. Citizens affected will have observations that may help recovery teams target efforts and the recovery teams need to track the location, status, and disposition of debris throughout the process. 


We previously posted about a community engagement solution you can use to solicit input from affected citizens about remaining debris, damage, and other information happening in their neighborhood.  You can find that here: How To: Engage citizens to report community observations


To support recovery team efforts, ArcGIS for Emergency Management includes a solution for Debris Reporting and monitoring.  This solution includes:

  • an information model for identifying the location of debris in the field using Collector for ArcGIS and monitoring it as it moves through the disposal process
  • an Operations Dashboard configuration that enables response and recovery stakeholders to monitor the total volume of debris being processed and the overall progress of the clean up


Debris Reports Monitoring

View an example operational view for monitoring debris identification and removal operations. 


Get Started


To set up the Debris Reporting solution, you'll need three ingredients:

  1. a Hosted Feature Layer based on the Debris Reports template service (or ArcGIS Server Feature Service),
  2. a Web Map containing your Debris Reports layer, and 
  3. an Operations Dashboard view configured to monitor debris removal


Sample data, an ArcMap document you can use to publish the Debris Reports layer to your ArcGIS Server, an step by step instructions for configuring these elements for your organization have been documented on the ArcGIS for Emergency Management Debris Reporting solution site. 


Quick Start Option


The Debris Reporting solution (and many more) can be quickly deployed to your ArcGIS Online Organization or Portal for ArcGIS using the ArcGIS Solutions Deployment Tool.  Here is a short, two minute video on using the Deployment Tool to create the hosted feature layer, a web map for use in Collector for ArcGIS, and the Operations Dashboard view with nearly one click.



Bonus Content


  • We have shared a service template for Disposal Locations and Emergency Facilities. You can use these templates to create new hosted feature layers in your organization, then populate the layers with the locations to be used for staging, transfer, and disposal of debris. 
  • Attached to this post is a template Survey 123 for ArcGIS form which can be used in your field operations.  
    • You may receive validation warnings with the choices in this form, you can safely click OK on these.
    • Update the submission_url setting to point this form to your existing Debris Reports hosted feature layer.