What is a Disaster Inspection?

Disaster inspection

When a disaster happens, inspectors help make the path to FEMA assistance as smooth as possible.

As a disaster inspector, you could offer assistance just when people need it the most. When any disaster affects home owners, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) steps in to assess the situation and provide different types of relief as needed. One type is disaster inspections, which report the scope of damage for home owner insurance and repair purposes.

Disaster inspections won’t be your sole source of customers, and thank goodness for that. But qualified and certified men and women find disaster work a good way to serve communities and supplement their income.

Disaster inspection

Disaster inspectors assess the scope of damage, not whether a light bulb works.

What is a Disaster Inspection?

Unlike a typical home inspection, which reports on the condition of everything visible and accessible from the roof to the basement, a disaster inspection focuses on damage. Inspectors visit homes or home sites of people who have applied for disaster assistance from FEMA.

Before FEMA can offer assistance, they must determine whether or not it’s warranted. That’s where people like you come in. Inspectors look for damages that are related to a federally-recognized disaster, such as a flood, tornado or earthquake. All information is recorded electronically and sent to FEMA.

Disaster Inspectors Don’t Work for Free

Although this type of work is certainly a service, inspectors aren’t expected to donate their time and skills. Disaster situations can be more hazardous than any average home inspection, and ASHI says the pay reflects that.

As with your normal inspections, pay is on a per-site basis. But because these aren’t comprehensive inspections where you’ll test outlets or determine whether living room lights function, the process goes faster. Many inspectors complete about 10 per day.

Disaster inspection

Disaster inspectors help families put their lives back together.

How to Qualify as a FEMA Disaster Inspector

FEMA-approved contractors offer a free, one-day Disaster Inspection Training course across the country. ASHI says members usually have access to this training through local chapters at low or no cost. A fee may be assessed to help support the ASHI chapter. Training also meets some of your ASHI Membership Renewal Credits (MRCs).

At present, FEMA contracts with only two disaster inspection companies. Those are PB Disaster Services, and PaRR Inspections. Do your due diligence before signing on with either company for disaster-related inspection work. They will handle the FEMA contracts, and they will retain a portion of what FEMA pays for inspections. Unless FEMA changes policies, you won’t perform disaster work directly for FEMA, but for one of those two companies.

Disasters aren’t predictable. There might be hurricane and tornado seasons, but no one can really know when or where the next event might happen. When home owners lose everything to fire, flood or almost any other natural occurrence, FEMA can help. And with inspectors like you, they know who needs their help the most.

ICA School understands the importance of qualified home inspectors, not just for the everyday purposes of buying and selling real estate. Sometimes inspections can determine whether home owners will get the assistance that they need to recover after Mother Nature strikes. Enroll now, and you could earn your certification and go on to start a thriving home inspection business of your own.

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