View Full Version : PB Disaster/Parr Inspections Information?

Michael Wright
10-05-2008, 03:42 AM
(skip to the numbered questions if you don't feel like reading my introduction) :)

Hello, I found this site while searching for information on the net regarding the two companies that contract disaster inspectors for FEMA. I searched the site for as much information as I could find so please forgive me if something I post has already been posted somewhere else before. Anyways, here it goes:

I am a 22-year old looking to make some decent money so I can save up for the future. I have my Associate's Degree and have worked numerous jobs before, but none of it really had anything to do with construction or real estate, which I discovered to be two of the preferred types of experience for prospective inspectors. I wasn't planning on pursuing this, but I had heard from someone who's friend was in Texas right now (I'm located in Georgia) doing the same thing and has been for about six years. I currently have no committments and I am a pretty independent person so that is why I'm really interested in the opportunity. I hear it is a lot of hard work, but I think I'm at the point in my life where I need to test my ability to work hard and have my level of success determined by how I approach my work. Not to mention the pay seems to beat working the jobs that I've had so far. I came on this site to get as much information as possible so any help would be greatly appreciated.

1. Like I mentioned earlier, I have virtually no experience other than helping put together a deck or something at a friend's house here and there, along with a stagecraft class that I took in college. I am considering going to a workshop in Dallas (all the way from GA) that Parr is conducting this week. They currently have nothing else scheduled on their site that would be any closer to me, but the workshop is required before you can move on to the online part of training. Now my question is, would it be worth it to fly out there (I can go standby round-trip and end up spending less than $200) and take the class so I can start the qualification process as soon as possible?

2. I also tried registering with PB Disaster, but one of their servers have been down since I first tried on Tuesday and I have called on three seperate occasions, all of which they took my name and number and have said someone would contact me within one day to register over the phone but that has yet to happen. Once I get registered, then I can take their online training courses which seems a lot better than flying to Houston. My question is though, are you allowed to be in the pool as an inspector for both Parr and PB at the same time, or just one or the other? I figured if you can, then it might increase your chances of getting deployed wouldn't it? Which leads me to the next question.

3. Say I do go through with the training and complete it for either one, or both of the companies (and pass the background check), does anyone have an idea of what my chances of actually getting deployed anywhere soon would be? Particularly when you factor in my inexperience, age, and the number of inspectors they have deployed right now. I guess what I'm trying to say is, are my chances fairly good or is it one of those cases where they let anybody "try out" but there's really no chance from the beginning that I would make the team?

I apologize for the length of my post and I don't expect anyone's answers to be the same, so just any kind of help would be awesome.

Kevin Kern
09-15-2009, 03:22 PM
I do disaster inspections for the SBA, The only for profit part of the government other than the IRS. They provide the best training I have seen to date for this specific job. PB will only call if you have field experience. I would look at becoming an assistant to someone who currently contracts with an insurance company. This is just my opinion.

Bruce Breedlove
09-15-2009, 07:15 PM

I have done FEMA disaster inspections for PB for several years. I won't get into the details of why in a public forum but I chose to work for PB. You should ask other inspectors who they work for and make your own choice.

My recommendation for you is to save your money. I doubt you would make back the $200 (the cost to go to Texas for PaRR training) any time soon. Barring an unexpected major disaster (e.g., an unforeseen hurricane or a large earthquake) there is very little chance that you would be deployed to work a disaster this year. And it would most likely take a major disaster for you to get deployed because there are so many other inspectors ahead of you (with far more training and experience) that will be deployed before you.

I took my first workshop in the spring of 2001. I had to wait over 2 years to get deployed (October 2003) and that was a mini-flood in Cleveland that 1) experienced inspectors don't want to work and 2) PB used as a training ground for new inspectors. After I did about 35 inspections I felt like I understood what I was doing but I got sent home. I did not make any money on that deployment. My next deployment was June 2004 for West Virginia flooding. I worked that disaster for about 4 weeks and made some money.

Then came the 4 hurricanes that struck Florida later that year. PB and PaRR were both begging for inspectors. Everybody who had any desire to do FEMA inspections was working that year. (I worked Florida for 10 weeks and made good money.) The next year brought Katrina and Wilma. Again there was more demand for inspectors than there were inspectors so everyone who wanted to do disaster inspectors was working. (I worked Katrina for 12 weeks and made money.)

But don't get the idea that you are going to get rich doing FEMA disaster inspections. It looks like I won't make a dime from PB this year. This work is very sporadic. And a lot depends on where you are deployed. The best, most experienced inspectors usually get the choicest deployments. New guys get the dregs. You have to work your way up the ladder.

I met a guy last year who was working for PaRR. It was his first deployment. He had high hopes of working for 5 or 6 months and clearning $50k or $60k after expenses. He was sent home after 2 or 3 weeks. (Newest inspectors usually get sent home first.) Add in the difficulties he had in getting work from PaRR while he was in the field (while his expenses continued to rack up) and he lost money. His experience is not unusual at all.

PB offers workshops all over the country. I am almost certain they come to Atlanta. I would recommend that you wait for a PB workshop near you. But if you want to spend $200 so you can get your training NOW by all means go for it.

To answer your last question - your security clearance is good for both contractors. And you are permitted to work for either or both contractors. But each contractor requires you to take their training to work for them because they do some things differently.

Hope this helps.

daniel nantell
09-16-2009, 09:04 PM
These jobs are not a get rich opportunity, I have been on the roster for 3 years and have been deployed twice for a total of 2 weeks. Im sure if you look around you can find something better than 2 weeks work in 3 years.?