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FEMA Common FAQ

You will be given a laptop, blackberry, and an RSA token to allow access to the FEMA network. The equipment is given after you are hired and sign the Conditions of Employment form.

Reservists will continue to be deployable wherever and whenever necessary and appropriate for Stafford Act mission accomplishment. Headquarters will be responsible for program and policy management, deployment, force structure management, recruiting, appointments, and a variety of programmatic administrative functions. Regions will be responsible for identifying deployment requirements, payroll and travel for field deployments, and specified human capital actions. Headquarters and the Regions will share responsibility for FQS implementation. Each Region will assign an in-Region liaison to the Headquarters Incident Management Workforce Office to ensure unity of effort, consistency in program administration, and a comparatively “local” contact for Reservists residing within the Region. 

The function of the FEMA Reservist Ombuds is to provide a dedicated resource for Reservists to discuss, document, address, and elevate systemic issues and concerns with Reservist policy implications. It complements and does not replace the role of the ADR Advisors who will continue to be available to provide all the services they have provided in the past, including building the capacity of Reservists and others in the disaster workforce to manage conflict situations, and assisting in the resolution of disputes as they may arise. 

FEMA Leadership values the mission-critical skills Reservists have built through direct experience, training, and performance in the field. Currently, Reservists do not have the noncompetitive authority to apply to status-only announcements and have to apply through the traditional open competitive announcement process with all other non-status candidates. FEMA is currently researching options that are available in order to provide this non-competitive hiring status, after a reasonable period of satisfactory employment as a Reservist. We will let you know as soon as there is any change in human capital application procedures and vacancy announcement provisions. In the interim, we encourage COREs and Reservists to apply as external candidates for FEMA positions if they are seeking full-time employment. 

We are committed to “at minimum” have each and every Reservist deploy once per year. Some may deploy more than once and the duration of all deployments will be based on the workload requirement of our disaster response and recovery efforts. Given the training and performance requirements of the FQS system a minimum of one deployment per year is essential to allowing Reservists to achieve a qualified status. 

Explore the FEMA  Careers page to find your fit - explore the different ways you can work for FEMA and apply today.

Currently, FEMA contracts with two companies for their home inspections. These job opportunities must be pursued through these individual contractors. They are Vanguard EM  and PB Disaster Services.

There are basically two types of preference eligibles, disabled (10 point preference eligible) and non-disabled (5 point preference eligibles). Read details about these preference types in the Vet Guide on the Office of Personnel Management website.  If you are not sure of your preference eligibility, visit the Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor.

If you are a retired Federal civil servant, your pay from FEMA is subject to an offset. You may be eligible for an annuity waiver. However, waivers only apply during the first 120 days of a Presidential Disaster Declaration. The annuity waiver does not apply when deployed to conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments or for an Emergency Presidential Declaration.