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  1. #1
    Wm. Hattaway's Avatar
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    Default FEMA inspections

    Good afternoon, I have just recently joined this forum. I am a residential appraiser by trade but have been activated by PB Disasters to go into Texas for inspections on behalf of FEMA. This will be my first deployment. May I ask of those who have done this type of work if you could tell me what type of tools I should take with me. I know PB Disasters will tell us once we are in Texas but I would like to get the tools before I head out there. Perhaps you could also tell me some effective ways to do the work that will be required. Also if this is the wrong forum for this question I apologize. Thank you for your time, Bill.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. Hattaway View Post
    Good afternoon, I have just recently joined this forum. I am a residential appraiser by trade but have been activated by PB Disasters to go into Texas for inspections on behalf of FEMA. This will be my first deployment. May I ask of those who have done this type of work if you could tell me what type of tools I should take with me. I know PB Disasters will tell us once we are in Texas but I would like to get the tools before I head out there. Perhaps you could also tell me some effective ways to do the work that will be required. Also if this is the wrong forum for this question I apologize. Thank you for your time, Bill.
    Didn't you have to take the FEMA inspection class? The PARR class I went to covered all that in addition to using the FEMA computers and software.
    Shouldn't need any much more than a tape measure or if you want to get real fancy, a laser distance tool. Of course, I could see where a GPS mapping system could help you find your way around.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  3. #3
    Wm. Hattaway's Avatar
    Wm. Hattaway Guest

    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    The training is next week, then into the field. I wanted to know ahead of time though.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    I got the same call from PB a couple of days ago. They wanted to expedite my training and deploy immediately. I think they said training Oct 4 & 5 then immediate deployment to Texas (and then maybe a 2-3 day wait for the first assignment). I'm not able to commit to a 21 day deployment right now because of prior commitments, so I had to take a pass on this one.
    Alton

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  5. #5
    Wm. Hattaway's Avatar
    Wm. Hattaway Guest

    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    I was hoping for more suggestions. I am not an inspector but I could see a ladder coming in handy, boots, waders for flooded areas, flashlight, wheel measuring devise. If you have a computer it will need power, how about a dc to ac converter. A wifi sniffer would be good. A battery powered alarm clock so if the power goes out you still wake up in the morning. How about firearms. Do you need the protection of a weapon in a disaster area? Bug spray? Come on people, some of you must have done this before.


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. Hattaway View Post
    I was hoping for more suggestions. I am not an inspector but I could see a ladder coming in handy, boots, waders for flooded areas, flashlight, wheel measuring devise. If you have a computer it will need power, how about a dc to ac converter. A wifi sniffer would be good. A battery powered alarm clock so if the power goes out you still wake up in the morning. How about firearms. Do you need the protection of a weapon in a disaster area? Bug spray? Come on people, some of you must have done this before.
    Most folks to ask are more than likely in route.

    Bug spray yes. Waders no, the water has gone down. A converter is a wise choice. I use my cell phone as an alarm. Rechargeable flashlight yes. Wifi sniffer, I doubt it. Get a satellite card from ATT or someone if you want Internet. Firearm, well why not but probably not. Special snacks and food maybe. Choices won't be that good. Hand sanitiser, yes. Boots, maybe. Wheel measuring device, probably not but maybe. Ladder more than likely not.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    The FEMA disaster inspection is not a home inspection, not even close. You go in to see how much of a residence is damaged according to FEMA rules. You use the FEMA computer and software.

    Carry a credit card. They pay for your airfare there and back but not your motel, food, or rental car. That you have to pay for yourself and cover the expenses from the fee per inspection made. AND, since you are new, you probably won't get that many inspections until your surpervisors see how you do. But, I agree it wouldn't be that big of a deal to carry hand sanitizer, maybe some latex or nitrile gloves, and bug repellant, Water jug, maybe some peanut butter and crackers or a box or 2 of snack bars.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  8. #8
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. Hattaway View Post
    .
    A wifi sniffer would be good.
    .
    I would much rather have a Voltage Sniffer. ( verses a wifi sniffer. )
    .

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Firearm? While I would think that would be a good idea, I don't think that FEMA or PB will go along with it. I am sure that PB will not allow it, and FEMA takes a dim view of going armed even if you are a certified Law Enforcement officer. Check out FEMAs actions toward the USAR team from Phoenix after Katrina at FEMA Suspends Phoenix's Rescue Team Over Firearms Rule - Firehouse.com Natural Disaster Coverage.
    Alton

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    You will need first and foremost a place to live, a car, a cell phone (unlimited minutes) and money to live on for a few weeks. If you are caught with a firearm you are sent home. You can carry "Dog" spray, some guys carry Bear spray, it is 10X's stronger and shoots about 30 feet farther than police mace.

    My son-in-law is doing them in the Houston area. He is working from the 610 loop down the Katy Fwy corridor to Hwy 6 and over to Sugar Land. A big area. So far he has been lucky and has completed right at 12 inspections a day for the past week, all of his inspections were near each other.

    He has a travel trailer that he is living in at a campground outside of Houston.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    You will need first and foremost a place to live, a car, a cell phone (unlimited minutes) and money to live on for a few weeks. If you are caught with a firearm you are sent home. You can carry "Dog" spray, some guys carry Bear spray, it is 10X's stronger and shoots about 30 feet farther than police mace.

    My son-in-law is doing them in the Houston area. He is working from the 610 loop down the Katy Fwy corridor to Hwy 6 and over to Sugar Land. A big area. So far he has been lucky and has completed right at 12 inspections a day for the past week, all of his inspections were near each other.

    He has a travel trailer that he is living in at a campground outside of Houston.
    Well. As far as sending you home. Hmmmm. They can't "send" you anywhere. They can release you from any further work and not allow you in the areas still being inspected.

    I just hate the idea of some oe sending me home. They only have the athority to give you work or not give you work and allow or not allow you into certain areas.

    Sorry about that but no one sends me anywhere. I have a little bit of you are not in charge of me issue. I guess I would not be good for that kind of work or mentality.


  12. #12
    Wm. Hattaway's Avatar
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Thank you all for the suggestions. I will leave the firearm home and look into the bear spray. I will be driving so I will have my car with a GPS. I am also hoping for plenty of work. Thanks again, Bill.


  13. #13
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    Wink Re: FEMA inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Well. As far as sending you home. Hmmmm. They can't "send" you anywhere. They can release you from any further work and not allow you in the areas still being inspected.

    I just hate the idea of some oe sending me home. They only have the athority to give you work or not give you work and allow or not allow you into certain areas.

    Sorry about that but no one sends me anywhere. I have a little bit of you are not in charge of me issue. I guess I would not be good for that kind of work or mentality.
    Well, they could actually send you somewhere (Not FEMA or PB of course, but if you refused to leave the area I am sure that local authorities would get involved).
    Since the question was asked by someone who isn't from Texas that would probably mean that they do not have a "carry permit" valid in Texas. Not sure how they feel about that in Texas but it may not go over well. Thereby earning you a trip down to the local PD where you could either bond out or remain a guest of the state until such time as a trial could be arranged.
    When it comes to firearms you need to check local laws for areas that you travel through and those that you are travelling to. Most places tend to take a dim view of allowing everyone to walk around armed...
    Alton

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Alton Darty View Post

    Most places tend to take a dim view of allowing everyone to walk around armed...

    Alton
    .
    I take a Very Dim View of someone trying to cause me serious harm or take my life.
    .
    Wasp spay is Very Effective, has great range ( for a spray ) and does double duty.
    .

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  15. #15
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
    Chad Fabry Guest

    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Take office supplies; paper clips, a stapler, highlighters etc. It's hard to stay organized and there will be 60 or 80 new names on your box every time you phone in. Take a bag that holds all that stuff. Make sure it's comfortable; it'll be attached to you for the entire deployment. Make sure there's enough room in the bag for a tablet PC

    You'll have a "no contact" folder, a "new" folder, a "scheduled" folder, a " today folder" and then folders for pending. Get one of those clip boards that opens and holds things inside.

    Take snack foods. Eating on the road is expensive and fattening. What you don't spend is what you make. Be aggressive making appointments. Insist that people meet you when you need to be met. Only work around their schedule as a last resort. Don't hesitate to turn in the scammers for fraud... the problem is, there are a lot of scammers.

    Don't pay tolls, show your ID tag in the affected states. Find a cheap place to stay and find a roommate. What you don't spend is what you make.

    Contact FEMA every day. Work everyday. Work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Never take a day off. If you absolutely must take a day off, save 3 or four inspections back from your upload for three days and use those to send. Don't ever have a day when you don't upload.

    Don't find a local watering hole where you're comfortable. What you don't spend is what you make.

    Be accurate, be firm, be fair, be fast. Don't let anyone "persuade" you to not do your job properly. Even the contractor.

    Be compassionate but don't waste the nation's money because it's easier or faster. Do your job.


  16. #16
    Lou Wissner's Avatar
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    get a cheap printer and labels. makes it so much easier to read than your own writting. also great for invoicing. be sure and carry plenty of water even thou its a littler cooler down here and a front is on the way dehydration is no fun. bug spray is a must. skeeters will smooth cary you off. i made the mistake of going down to surfside last week without spray. when i was looking under a foundation that had washed out a fog of skeeter attacked. it a funny watching an old fat guy coughing and gaging when he swallows a handfull of them little boogers.


  17. #17

    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Two things you will need are a good loser distance measure for inside. It saves e Huge amount of time over a tape. Another is a wheel for outdoors, forget about the 100 foot tape, it is too hard to use by yourself.
    In deployed with Parr now in TX and I had to buy both to wake any sort of good time on inspections.
    Dana.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  18. #18
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Bostick View Post
    Two things you will need are a good loser distance measure for inside. It saves e Huge amount of time over a tape. Another is a wheel for outdoors, forget about the 100 foot tape, it is too hard to use by yourself.
    In deployed with Parr now in TX and I had to buy both to wake any sort of good time on inspections.
    Dana.
    Uhhhhh...isn't FEMA pretty particular about paperwork?


  19. #19

    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    Yes, they are. So.... not a big deal, just follow the policy. They are particular, and not always logical about the way things are reported but once you lean the "ropes", there is money to be made here. You are on your own to run the game as you see fit. It's up to you how to set appointments and route your travel efficiently to max the money for the time spent. The days are long, 10 to 12 hours or more but I'm making 2-3 grand a week for that time. Since I'm away from home there are less distractions and I can just focus on work.
    Dana.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    Default Re: FEMA inspections

    I was just kidding. I'm the kink of misspelling!

    Good for you though! I'm glad someone other than me is milking the government.


  21. #21
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    Exclamation Re: FEMA inspections

    I know my reply is a bit late but I have a good excuse - when the original question was asked I was deployed to Louisiana for 8 weeks doing FEMA Housing Inspections. Hopefully my reply will be helpful to others who stumble across this thread in the future.

    I have put together a FEMA Deployment Checklist that may be helpful to anyone who is preparing to deploy to a disaster for a FEMA contractor - especially new inspectors who are deploying for the first time. My list is based on what works for me after several years of doing FEMA Housing Inspections. Rather than post the Checklist here I will start a new thread dedicated to my Checklist. Look for my new thread entitled 'FEMA Deployment Checklist'.

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    Bruce Breedlove
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