There are newer employer reviews for FEMA

Can't Manage their own Disasters

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Management Analyst in Arlington, VA
Current Employee - Management Analyst in Arlington, VA

I have been working at FEMA full-time (more than 8 years)

Pros

Certain sections have great leadership, great teamwork and you really feel like you are helping people.

Cons

Some sections are horrible disasters where the leadership is ego driven and incompetent, bullying is the norm and people are clawing over each other to get ahead. Lower level employees (anyone not manager) is treated as less than human, either micro managed or bullied or both. Mitigation and Records Management are two very sore spots,

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Listen to your people NOT the "managers or leaders" you hired! Some sections need to be gutted - all in leadership positions need to go. You will get much much farther if you listen to the "little guys," the employees who are doing the nuts and bolts work of the agency - cause some of your leaders are driving us in the ground.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Retirement Home for Former Emergency Responders

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Contractor for Logistical Improvements in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Contractor - Contractor for Logistical Improvements in Fort Worth, TX

    I worked at FEMA as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of knowledge about how emergencies were dealt with in the past. Extremely well meaning but stubborn alpha personalities. With so many former military, fire, police, ambulatory, engineer, health professionals at its disposal you would think this agency could be an shining light of knowledgeable and highly trained experts. They have the Rolodex to mobilize a cadre of individuals that understand and have creative solutions to multiple disasters.

    Cons

    Creepily slow inefficient agency that is littered with retired emergency responders. FEMA has an extremely small regular full-time paid staff so the majority of the employees are individuals that can afford to be on call without much pay until a disaster strikes. Then when needed they are all activated. Once actually working they agency then subcontracts out much of its operation to contractors that are grossly overpaid and completely underutilized by the agency. But with the vitriol in the country and all the noise about big government the agency doesn't really have a chance to fulfill its promise or even achieve its potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually fund the agency with good administrators that are paid and judged on performance rather than longevity and create several full time paid staff positions that again are paid competitively and that are promoted on merit alone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Good people trying to work themselves out of a job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - External Affairs in New York, NY
    Former Contractor - External Affairs in New York, NY

    I worked at FEMA as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Employees are almost all characters, most of them nomadic "reservists" (DAEs), and they are trying to "work themselves out of a job" – which means approaching disaster relief and long-term recovery in an efficient way that negates their necessity so as to be a steward of the tax-payers' dollars.

    Cons

    Work can be very short-term, unsteady, and unpredictable! Also, governmental bureaucracy and fear of interdepartmental stepping on toes can make things move quite slowly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Challenge employees with new assignments even after the urgency is gone – don't let people sit around waiting to be told what to do.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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