FEMA Reviews

Updated July 29, 2015
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3.3
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Jason McNamara
28 Ratings

Pros
  • Helping people when you are deployed (in 10 reviews)

  • Good money and the opportunity to get into the federal government Opportunity to travel and meet new people (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours and need to be able to go anywhere on short notice (in 6 reviews)

  • Also, while on a disaster site you work long hour often seven days a week (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

93 Employee Reviews

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  1. Telework good, open work space not so much...

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

    I have been working at FEMA

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Telework, flexibility, and an understanding culture. I used to work for other agencies where the politics were very apparent, while politics exist, most people are focused on the mission

    Cons

    Because of the nature of disaster management the workload can be very unpredictable. The open work space in some of the offices is hard to work in. Also senior management is very disconnected from what is going on at the "worker bee" level

    Advice to Management

    FEMA is an incredibly reactive agency. Implementing more of a methodology and planning would really help decrease the stress of the workplace


  2. Telecommunications Specialist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Telecommunications Specialist in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Telecommunications Specialist in Denver, CO

    I have been working at FEMA full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great mission. Flexible work schedule. Management does not micromanage and we all cross train on everyone else's equipment.

    Cons

    Not much room for career growth beyond the GS12 pay scale.

    Advice to Management

    More training missions in the field.


  3. FEMA Reservist, EHP-Great Pay-Hard life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environmental Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Environmental Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at FEMA

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Only had to work a few months out of the year if I wanted to. Got paid very well while working, and was given housing and a per diem while deployed to disasters. Learned a lot about the FEMA Public Assistance process and the environmental laws involved.

    Cons

    Curmudgeony people most of the time. Constantly working with different folks, so you never know what you're going to get, but you can easily end up working with some very difficult people. In one disaster I was the only EHP person in the office and everybody pretty hated me just because I was EHP, not fun. You can also end up on a great team. Also being available at a moment's notice to go anywhere in the country can be tough, but you know what you signed up for.

    Advice to Management

    More uniformity in training and standards for management. One manager will be completely different than another, and do things in a completely different way for EHP reviews. This makes it hard for employees to stay consistent.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    From Chaos Comes Opportunity

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Emergency Management Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Emergency Management Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at FEMA full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Fluid workforce with large diversity in tasks GS Pay Scale is fantastic for public sector Many employee incentives (telework, fitness, compressed schedule) Many opportunities for special projects Some people are innovating in exciting ways

    Cons

    Lots of deadweight employees Egos can get in the way of real accomplishments Some very poor managers who will ruin your life Can be very very boring Most employees are completely disconnected from real action in disasters

    Advice to Management

    Respond to the rank and file when a middle manager is bad Trim staff through attrition and budget cuts to optimize performance on key mission space


  6. Executive Specialist

    Current Employee - Executive Specialist in Garland, TX
    Current Employee - Executive Specialist in Garland, TX

    I have been working at FEMA (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Professionalism, personnel, adventurous, multi-task, knowledge

    Cons

    intermittent work, short notice, no time to prepare before notice, reservists last to deploy


  7. Good temporary job!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FEMA full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -wonderful co-workers -interesting work -lots of training provided -did I mention great co-workers? FEMA has a bad rep, but it has some of the most outstanding people I've met in the federal government sector!

    Cons

    -low pay -little recognition for work by upper management -local hire work is temporary in nature

    Advice to Management

    Help local hires transition to reservists!


  8. FEMA

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Grants Management Specialist in Denton, TX
    Former Employee - Grants Management Specialist in Denton, TX

    I worked at FEMA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The staff are very knowledgeable about what they do and are always willing to help in any capacity they can.

    Cons

    Management does not keep employees informed and there's nothing transparent about the decisions they make. They state there's an open door policy when there isn't. Management will ignore concerns or questions you have regarding policies.


  9. The Shenandoah and Feds provide a Unique Setting!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Specialist, OCIO in Worthington, OH
    Former Employee - IT Specialist, OCIO in Worthington, OH

    I worked at FEMA (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    To have IT opportunities similar to Northern VA with DC within reach and yet out of reach is ideal for dedicated professionals who prefer not to "eat stress"

    Cons

    Trips "down to the Potomac" should be expected and embraced as part of the job, and they may or may not balance out! DC hire ups will also visit Winchester periodically.


  10. basic property management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accountable Property Officer in Columbia, MS
    Former Employee - Accountable Property Officer in Columbia, MS

    I worked at FEMA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You can advance in different areas with great people to work with and the company is wonderful

    Cons

    You never stay at the same location for a long time and all plces are different

    Advice to Management

    Keeping a good work ethic and work in a timely manner. Just make sure the area is always safe


  11. Horribly disorganized

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at FEMA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Sense of purpose; disaster work can be stimulating.

    Cons

    Utterly disorganized; seemed like it was made up of at least 12 different organizations (each region, the old-style bureaucrats at headquarters, and the new politicals), none of which liked each other very much. Leadership's style and rhetoric ("everyone an emergency manager") was good PR, but in reality, some were more equal than others - certain people somehow never got sent to a disaster, but others were virtual cannon fodder, marked after an hour and a half of training forever. The agency's response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was an absolute nightmare of inefficiency and incompetence. Everything bad you can imagine, I saw. I think we hurt more people than we helped.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the current leadership - there's more to emergency management than good PR. They've got to start actually training and investing in people - otherwise, it's worse than meaningless. These are real people who are hurting that FEMA works with, and it's not good enough to say that people will learn on the job.



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