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How Can I Get a Job With FEMA As a Temporary Disaster Relief Volunteer?

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The temporary relief opportunities with the Federal Emergency Management Agency comes as hired, paying jobs instead of volunteer work. You can apply to FEMA for one of two types of temporary positions, and then when FEMA needs help to handle a disaster, you could be called up to work the disaster relief.

Reservist Employees

The FEMA Reservists system hires individuals to be employed intermittently or on an on-call basis. The reservist employees become the FEMA ground force during an emergency, handling tasks such as backing up local first-responders or helping the citizens affected by the emergency. A reservist employee can expect to be called up for work at least once a year for at least 30 days. You would receive a two-year term for a reservist position.

Temporary Local Hires

Another option to work FEMA disaster relief is as what the agency calls a temporary local hire. From the area or location where a disaster has struck, FEMA will hire temporary workers out of the local population to assist in the relief efforts. The temporary local hire position is for 120 days and can be extended in 120-day increments for up to a full year.

Federal Job Applications

Apply for a FEMA temporary relief job using the same process that the federal government uses for all employee hires. The initial step is to find a posted job opening and apply through the website. Any available temporary positions with FEMA will be listed on the website. The hiring of temporary local hires may be done through a streamlined process. The FEMA website recommends that you contact the regional FEMA office for any information on this type of work in your area.

Volunteer Opportunities

Although FEMA does not accept volunteer help for disaster relief, the Agency does coordinate with local organizations that accept volunteer help. The FEMA website recommends that if you want to volunteer to help in an emergency or disaster, you get involved with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster through the website. FEMA also recommends that you check out the information provided at


Tim Plaehn has been writing financial, investment and trading articles and blogs since 2007. His work has appeared online at Seeking Alpha, and various other websites. Plaehn has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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