Debris Removal on Private Roads and in Gated Communities


Polk County is trying to reach residents who live on private roads or in gated communities to obtain permission to pick up storm debris from the roadside in your neighborhoods.

FEMA requires that owners give the county’s contracted debris haulers a right of entry to their roadways for the purpose of removing and clearing hurricane-damaged debris.

As of this morning, about 956,000 cubic yards, or nearly half of the estimated 2.1 million cubic yards of vegetative debris has been collected. Haulers continue to work seven days a week, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., on their first pass through the county. In order to collect debris from residents on private roads and gated communities, designated HOA officers or management companies must sign and return a “RIGHT OF ENTRY AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT FOR DEBRIS REMOVAL” form.

How do you know if you live on a private road in Polk? According to Right of Way and Real Estate Manager Wade Allen, most likely, your street sign is white, rather than green.

The Right of Entry form may be printed from the website, and returned by email, regular mail or faxed to the county. For more information or questions please call (863) 535-2200 or email



FEMA Includes Polk County in Major Disaster Declaration


Contact: Mianne Nelson, Communications Director

(863) 534-6083 (office)  (863) 232-6653 (cell)

FEMA Includes Polk County in Major Disaster Declaration

Bartow, Fla. (September 13, 2017) —  Polk County Emergency Management received word this morning that the Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration has been amended to include Polk County. The amendment was issued Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

Residents may now register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to state and federal officials.

Individuals can register online at or through the FEMA App.

Applicants will need the following to apply:

  • Social Security Number;
  • Daytime telephone number;
  • Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property; and
  • Private insurance information, if available.

By registering for federal assistance on

  • You can look up your address to find out if it is in a disaster area declared for Individual Assistance.
  • Check the status of your application and get updates by SMS or email.
  • Upload documents to support your application.

Another option for individuals, including those who use 711 relay or VRS, is to call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) while those who use TTY can call 1-800-462-7585.