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When victims of natural disasters have damage to their homes, one of their options for financial assistance is offered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To receive assistance from FEMA, however, disaster victims must first schedule a home inspection. With the proper training and certification, you might be the next person deployed to a disaster location to perform some of these FEMA home inspections.
Get related experience. According to the Partnership for Response and Recovery (PaRR), a home inspection company contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), individuals with a background in construction, real estate, appraising and related fields make good candidates for FEMA home inspectors.
Apply with a FEMA-contracted home inspection company. There are several companies that FEMA uses for home inspections, but the two main ones are PB Disaster Services (PB) and PaRR. Many home inspection candidates apply with both companies to maximize their chances of being contacted to perform FEMA home inspections.
Complete the required training and certifications. Training is required before you can be deployed to a disaster site. Each FEMA-contracted home inspection company has its own form of training. For example, PB offers e-learning for courses on the inspection process and disaster types. In addition, PB offers field workshops throughout the US. On the other hand, PaRR requires all FEMA home inspection candidates to take a one-day course that covers topics such as FEMA procedures, computer training and inspection exercises.
Get a background check. Both FEMA-contracted companies require that you get a background check, which is performed by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. In addition, if you have had a criminal background during the past 10 years, which includes convictions, imprisonment, parole or probation, you may be disqualified to become a FEMA home inspector. To find out if this applies to your situation, contact the FEMA-contracted home inspection companies prior to applying.
Get fingerprinted. PaRR and PB require that you get fingerprinted before being deployed to a disaster area. Both companies will provide you with the paperwork and instructions on how to proceed.
Wait for a disaster. When there is a national or local disaster, PaRR and PB will contact their list of individuals who have attended their training classes and have been certified as a FEMA home inspector. Both companies will pay for your transportation to and from the disaster area if you are called for deployment.
Because a FEMA home inspector is an independent contractor, you will have to pay your own expenses, including food, clothing and lodging, while you are working at a disaster location.