I was chatting with our old friend Jeff Coffey from PaRR today, after a couple of quiet years on the disaster front they are again ramping up for this seasons chaos.
PaRR are the main contractor to FEMA for post disaster inspections throughout the US and its dependent territories (Puerto Rico, Guam etc) inspecting residential properties after hurricanes, tornados, wildfires and floods, as a business that is dependent on quality subcontracting inspectors they like everyone else has a retention problem, people that they have trained in previous years have retired or left the business.
This year they are continuing their national training program across the country and love to have NACHI members on board.
Click here for their training schedule for the next couple of months:
I would hope that TREC has shown the forsight to allow the FEMA training for credit especialy as coastal Texas has a long history of needing FEMA assistance. (if they haven’t let me know and I’ll work with PaRR to change that)
Steve is correct about the cost, it’s free. As to it being a “breeze” some find it a challenging class and probably not suited to those who are not very computer literate.
Gerry, They have a class in Atlanta tommorow and I would have a 2 hour drive to get there. I applied and registered for the class. What are the chances that they will use me. Do they call almost everyone for a large disaster? I dont have money to waste right now and just wonder if the trip would be worth it. Do you know if they have more classes later? It just sounds exciting. And helping folks would be really cool.
neither I nor they would be able to guarantee that they could use you, 2-3 years ago they were sceaming for qualified inspectors who had been trained to do these inspections due to the ammount of disasters at that time. Personaly I suspect that if we were to have a bad storm year in 2008 that they would have issues getting enough trained people on site.
You have to consider doing the training as a bit of a gamble, yes it’s an investment in time and gas, but as I’ve said before PaRR has used literally hundreds of home inspectors on prior disasters.
Just wanted to add that I first was trained for Parr in Aug 2005(hurricane Katrina) They couldn’t get enough people to work. It was great work, great money. But until the California Wildfires last fall, I hadn’t been called since.
They deployed me to San Diego in Oct last year for registration intake, which is sitting in front of a computer and helping people fill out applications for Fema assistance. (they did switch people over to doing inspections when needed) My inspector number (= senority) is fairy high and I was called out in the first day.
For this they paid 400.00 a day, you pay all expenses.(hotel, car and food) They pay for your flight. They had many people that had just completed training and lots of people that have been working for Parr for years.
(I think they had between 500-700 people deployed to San Diego)
The rumors were that Fema had decided to use inspectors for registration intake to have them there, ready and prepared to complete inspections, if needed. They were very happy with Parrs presence and actually complimented Parr on their people.
The other big rumor was that a huge percentage of former inspectors did not either complete or pass the background investigation that is now required.
Sorry to go on and on, but I think that there is a good chance that Parr (and the other contractor Pb) will need more inspectors in the future, especially if they are doing all the registration intake. So, if you are not busy doing home inspection, I say go for it!
Just back from the FEMA class. PARR held the class in south Atlanta today and it was a full day ending at 5pm. Yes they do require a background check now and if you have felonies, sex crime, or drugs in your background you will not be hired. It pays just short of $50 an inspection and you pay all expenses (out of pocket and not reimbursed food, rental car, motel, etc) with the exception of air fair. Your first check for inspections may take up to 3 weeks to get to you. You also have to commit to being deployed for 30 days at a time not being able to return home. Oh and you can be called to work a claims desk at a shelter for a set pay…I think $450 a day. They like you to complete courses on their online site if you are approved one time a month and I got the drift that the more hours you have recorded on their site the more likely you will be called. And they really don’t care where you are when they deploy you. You are usually only given 24 hours notice. Im sure the reason they don’t use hometown folks is because of conflict of interest. It is on each form you fill out and If you connect with a person in any way you must excuse yourself. So we shall see if they call me.:mrgreen:
Dana, The only way you will get deployed is if we have a catastrophic year like when we had Katrina. There have been plenty of declared disasters since our floods up here in NH and Parr will take care of the regulars before they will you. You are just back up until you get your turn. They have yet to call me for any disaster in 2 years while there has been plenty across the country. Just my 2c worth.
Thanks to my buddy Gerry, I now have access to this blog and will be happy to take a crack at some of the questions and concerns expressed so far.
Yes, our courses are approved by TREC for 8 hours (both the Initial and Advanced classes), and it’s all free. You will need to let your instructor know you need TREC credits, and we’ll give you a letter which you can send in to TREC along with your PaRR Certificate of Completion. It’s a good deal!
Yup, we have had 2 slow years in 06 and 07, despite predictions of heavier than normal activity. This year the experts are predicting another busy season…we’ll just have to see if they’re right. If so, we’ll definitely need new inspectors. Even with a moderately busy season, we’re always looking for new good folks, since there is a normal attrition rate we have to compensate for to maintain a readiness posture (typically due to folks dropping out after slow years).
We definitely do try to use local inspectors when it makes sense. There are lots of variables involved in deciding what “makes sense,” though, and they aren’t always obvious to the inspectors. One big goal is to provide the affected community with the best people we can, as fast as we can, whether they’re local or from a galaxy far, far away.
We really appreciate our partnership with NACHI and its members, and welcome any and all to check out our website’s FAQs for more info…and of course I’ll be happy to weigh in here now and then.
I was in the beginning but I soon realized that after several declared disasters in not only my region, my state but even my home town, that I was not going to be called. To me it’s like standing in line at the deli with one exception… They never call your number.
This process will take awhile. I took the PARR class 2/07 received the fingerprint package 11/07 you cant not be deployed untill background check is complete. Still waiting for results, for me this process will about 1 year.