On the Job: FEMA Reservist Workforce  

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At the core of FEMA’s workforce are the talented hard-working people eager to assist when disaster strikes. This includes FEMA Reservists, our largest segment of employees. These on-call employees play an important role in fulfilling the agency’s mission to help people before, during and after disasters.

What do reservists do?

FEMA reservists are an integral part of FEMA’s incident management workforce and support the agency by helping survivors in their time of need. From getting supplies to where they’re needed, to responding to questions from the media and more, there are many opportunities to use your experience to help people before, during and after disasters.

Reservists travel, receive training, build professional networks and support survivors and communities during disasters. They work on an on-call basis and will likely need to travel to communities on short notice. Deployments are generally for 30 days or more.

Once I’m hired as a reservist, what happens next?

When hired, reservists are assigned to one of 23 different FEMA cadres. Grouped by skills and experience, cadres play a key role in keeping FEMA ready to deploy the right people to the right jobs quickly in an emergency management situation.

After you’re hired as a reservist, you’ll  go through an on-boarding process and will be issued a FEMA badge, computer and cell phone.

Once your reserve status is activated, reservists may be sent a deployment request and point of contact who will provide instructions and next steps for service.

In most cases, reservists will be deployed for a period of 30 days but may be asked to extend depending on the severity of the disaster or emergency. Travel, hotel and living expenses are all paid for by FEMA while deployed.

Want more information?

Want to learn more, or know someone who may be interested in becoming a FEMA Reservist? Visit Reservists (On-Call) | FEMA.gov.  Ready to apply? Send your resume to fema-careers@fema.dhs.gov. Be sure to include the reservist ‘cadre’ you want to join in the subject line. Note: your salary will be based on your experience.

Last updated January 10, 2023