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Thread: FEMA Inspector

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Ridgefield, New Jersey

    Default FEMA Inspector

    Got an email that FEMA is looking for inspectors to help out in NJ NY after hurricane Sandy. Has anyone ever tried this before and is it worth the effort for such little pay?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: FEMA Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry A Scheyer 3rd View Post
    Got an email that FEMA is looking for inspectors to help out in NJ NY after hurricane Sandy. Has anyone ever tried this before and is it worth the effort for such little pay?
    I did this in 2008 in Texas and LA for Gustov & Ike. FEMA is a cluster f*** and the confusion and last minute locations switches after you have spent hours setting up appointments is a PITA You will work from 5-6 am until 9 pm most days. First setting up inspection appointments and then hours on the phone trying to find people and locations to inspect the next day. After that, FEMA will call you and say "return all those inspections and be in xxxxxx tomorrow. We will send you a new list." Now you need to start all over finding housing and learning a new area, setting up new appointments etc.

    Finding housing for yourself is a major drag and you are responsible for all your own costs. I ended up staying in a FEMA "First Responder's Camp" in Beaumont for three weeks that was 78 miles one-way from the area where they had me inspecting. There was no where else to stay due to the large utility companies buying up all available rooms in the area for their crews.

    Making appointments is tough too. Many people move out of the area and stay with relatives in other areas and are not available.
    There are no street signs to navigate the unfamiliar area by. (bring a GPS)

    You will also get people trying to "game" the system and claim existing damage. I was trying to sort out unrepaired damage from Katrina while inspecting for damage from the current hurricane.

    In my opinion, the only way it would work is to travel to the area in your own camper/motor home and tow a small car or pickup along for local travel. This saves hundreds of $$ and many lost hours trying to find housing and rental cars. With lost time for finding housing, trying to return or locate a rental car and the FEMA screw ups, I lost many days. The bills don't stop, just the pay! Speaking of pay, you need to have plenty of cash/credit when you get there. FEMA can take up to three weeks to pay you so you are out-of-pocket until they do.

    Get a throw away phone and only give out that number. I had people calling me on my cell phone after I had left the area and returned to California!

    It was an adventure for sure. Glad I did it but will not do it again unless I have another independent source of income that does not depend on me being there every day to create it. (I'm building that now btw in anyone is interested) Then it would be fun and interesting work and no pressure from money issues. It was interesting work and I met a lot of cool people and saw thing I never would have seen. Got tons of pictures and I blogged the whole thing. Was out for 50 days! To view the blog and pics start here and move forward: Thoughts from a Boomer: Gustov Hits the South

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Dallas, TX

    Default Re: FEMA Inspector

    A long-time local inspector told me he "FEMA'd" twice and regretted it; mostly because he lost his local clientel because he wasn't around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Lombard, Illinois

    Default Re: FEMA Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Adame View Post
    A long-time local inspector told me he "FEMA'd" twice and regretted it; mostly because he lost his local clientel because he wasn't around.
    Fema inspection are sub contracted throug PARR. This is there website: Become a Housing Inspector | Disaster Services Home Inspections

    They pay too little for the work involved. You will be left paying for expense that are more than you are taking in. You also have to have a 2 day training and finger printed at a location that is normally not in your state. (air fare or a long drive) During the training you will receive 130.00 a day only no other expenses are paid. You could also be dispatched after completing the training for several weeks. During that time you only make money doing an actual inspection, Pay is around $53 per inspection. So you could be out 100 of dollars in expenses( i.e hotel , Gas food etc.) and loose local clients.

    These are just my thoughts and evaluation to see if its worth doing. I decided not to. I agree with both Danna and Frank, you realy need to review your own situation to see if its worth your time.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Best regards


    Fidel F. Gonzales

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI

    Default Re: FEMA Inspector

    There are a number of discussion topics already created on this subject. Many of them can be found in the designated forum area here (clickable link):

    FEMA does not directly hire inspectors for this type of work, their designated Contractors do. At present, and IIRC they include P&B and PARR. Those contractors take on individuals as independant contractors paid on-call per completed, filed, exception and error-free inspections.

    I suggest especially reviewing discussion posts from Bruce Breedlove on the subject of disaster inspections. Keep in mind the software, methodology, etc. is ever-changing, but the over-all discussion contributions from B.B. may prove helpful as you research the subject.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: FEMA Inspector

    A little more information from another forum for the interested/curious.
    Forum Link:
    Immediate openings for inspectors to assess damage caused by Hurricane Sandy
    Lisa Endza

    U.S. Inspect currently has immediate openings for inspectors to assess damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in NJ, NY, and Southern CT. Training will be provided in Philadelphia. We are looking for 150 individuals to report to Philadelphia on Monday 11/12/12 and for others to report in the days following with the last day available to report being 11/21/12.

    If you are interested please click the following link to fill out the online application: Click here: to fill-out the application and please send a W9 form to us with your contact information at

    The Details:
    Report to training and fingerprinting in Philadelphia, for any two days between 11/14/12 and 11/21/12
    Once you complete training and pass your background check you travel to the damaged areas to perform inspections daily for 6 weeks
    Time frame to pass the background check is 2 to 5 days
    $125 per diem is paid during training in Philadelphia and during data processing interim
    If you complete training you can return home until your background check processes but you must be able to arrive within 12 hours of your background check processing
    A travel fee of 50 cents a mile will be paid for 1 trip to training, 1 trip from training to the inspection area, and 1 trip home at the completion of the 6 week assignment
    The total limit of miles that will be reimbursed is 1,400 total miles. If your 3 trips equal 1,500 total miles you will only be reimbursed for 1,400
    Lodging, meals, and travel between inspections is UNPAID
    You must to commit covering all potential damaged areas in NJ, NY, and Southern CT
    You must commit to doing inspections 5 to 7 days a week for 6 weeks
    The pay for each inspection is $45.00, 12 inspections available per day.

    If you have any trouble with the online application please contact us at


    Network Development Team
    U.S. Inspect, LLC
    U.S. Inspect | Home Inspections & Property Inspection Services


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