When is a home inspection not a home inspection? When it’s performed as a service for people affected by a national disaster. FEMA inspections help home owners across the country recover from disasters such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Not every home inspector can perform FEMA inspections, but a lot of them choose to branch out into that territory.
Here’s what being a FEMA inspector is like, and why this service is so important.
How a FEMA Inspection is Different
In a classic home inspection, the kind that you probably do every workday, you check the usual home systems. You’ll test heating and cooling systems, look for defects with roofs, note foundation issues, and give an accounting of electrical outlets and light switches in every room. You’ll take photos and prepare a report for your customer, and then move on to the next inspection.
With a FEMA inspection, your goal is a bit different. You aren’t there to report on whether an outlet is defective, you’re there to give an accounting of structural damage to the home as well as personal property damage. FEMA inspectors never assign a monetary value, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and they don’t determine who is or isn’t eligible for FEMA assistance.
Why FEMA Inspections Matter
In the wake of a disaster, a lot of people need a lot of help, and they need it quickly. Many are entirely homeless while some have homes in serious disrepair. Imagine the scores of families whose homes have been demolished or rendered uninhabitable by hurricanes and tornadoes just within the past 10 years. FEMA inspectors might not be busy every day, but when they are busy, it’s nonstop.
FEMA inspectors spend about 15 to 30 minutes at each house, which is much less time than what’s spent at an ordinary home inspection. The goal is to evaluate as many homes as fast as possible so that FEMA may move in and get federal assistance flowing without unnecessary delay. The work that a FEMA inspector does helps homeowners in distress move past hurdles to get the help that they need.
How to Get FEMA Training
Any home inspector can train to be a FEMA inspector. Vanguard Emergency Management offers FEMA Public Assistance program management; comprehensive emergency management planning; training, exercise development and evaluations; evacuation planning; community-wide damage assessment, hazard identification, analysis and vulnerability assessment, and many other courses.
Additionally, one of the FEMA-contracted inspection companies, such as PB Disaster Services, offers training for inspectors as well as deployment for inspectors when work comes available. At present, only two disaster inspection organizations are contracted by FEMA, including PB Disaster Services and PaRR Inspections.
Becoming a disaster inspector helps you broaden your career horizons, but it also does something much more. Families in their most vulnerable situations count on assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As an agent for FEMA, you are their link to that assistance. Disaster home inspections matter because they help displaced families find the assistance that they need to make their homes whole again.
Home inspecting covers a lot more than you might have ever imagined when you first thought about a new career. In your everyday job, you’ll meet a lot of customers and inspect the fine details of a lot of homes. And then once in a while, if you choose to branch out into federal work, you could help hundreds of families in a short span of time get much-needed assistance to repair or rebuild homes that are affected by disaster.
If you’re ready to start in a new direction with a whole new career, ICA school can help make it happen. Our online, self-paced course is one of the best on the market, and we give you tools that you can’t find anyplace else. When you’re ready to get started, enroll now and earn your certification in as little as a few weeks.