The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is tasked with disaster response coordination. In order to provide these services, there are many FEMA contractor jobs available throughout the course of the year. At Federal Contractor Registry, we can help contractors get started with FEMA contracting and also can provide some general information about FEMA and its history.
1. FEMA Is A Relatively New Agency
Until the 1970s, disaster response and relief typically was handled on a case-by-case basis and many agencies within the government would respond to a disaster, which often led to confusion as to which agency was handling which task. There was no official organization to coordinate disaster response until 1973, when the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration was created, and this agency was part of the Department of Housing & Urban Development.
In 1979, President Carter became increasingly pressured by governors of multiple states to create a stronger, more centralized agency to assist with disaster response and, thus, FEMA was established. This caused a major reorganize of various disaster-related agencies within the government, and agencies such as the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration and others merged into FEMA.
2. FEMA Has Its Ups & Downs
During its first decade, FEMA assisted with few large-scale disasters, and was plagued with bureaucratic problems. Even applying for FEMA contractor jobs was a more difficult process, and the agency was criticized heavily by the press. This was particularly an issue during Hurricane Andrew in 1995 when it took FEMA about five days to send in federal assistance, despite thousands of citizens being without power as well as without access to food and water.
After Hurricane Andrew, FEMA was reformed and a new director, James Lee Witt, was brought in to streamline this agency. Witt previously served as the director of the Arkansas Office of Emergency Service, so his previous disaster-response experience helped him create a FEMA that was more efficient and better able to respond quickly to disasters throughout the United States and its territories.
3. FEMA Continues To Evolve & Change
When FEMA was formed, it was an independent government agency. In fact, the director of FEMA was a cabinet post during the Clinton years. After September 11, 2001, however, FEMA was moved into the Department of Homeland Security. After Hurricane Katrina, FEMA was again reorganized and some preparedness functions were removed from its charge, including the Office of Infrastructure Protection, the National Communications System, National Cybersecurity Division and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer.
4. FEMA Declarations Are Complex
When a disaster occurs, FEMA doesn’t just automatically step in, provide disaster relief and start handing out FEMA contractor jobs. The governor of the affected state must first make an official request to their regional FEMA office. Usually before this occurs, officials conduct what is known as a PDA, or preliminary damage assessment, to gauge the level of the disaster and its severity. From there, the President will then declare that a major disaster or a crucial emergency exists and, at this point, FEMA can be activated and begin to assist with relief and support.
5. FEMA Contractor Jobs Are Prevalent
Despite reforms, it still can be difficult for FEMA to provide assistance after a large-scale disaster. Often, this is simply because they need more contractors to help with clean-up, repairs, engineering tasks and more. While there are many FEMA contractor jobs available, many companies and individuals mistakenly believe that bidding on FEMA contractor jobs is too difficult or complicated. However, once you have registered as a government contractor, it can be fairly easy to bid on, and ultimately receive, a federal contracting job.
If you are interested in bidding on FEMA contractor jobs, the first step is to complete your System for Award Management registration, or SAM registration. This is where we come in. SAM registration is a complicated process that can take as many as 15 hours (or more) to complete, but we can handle the entire process for your, ensuring that registration is handled properly and as quickly as possible. Once you have completed SAM registration, you will be able to bid on those lucrative FEMA contractor jobs. If you are ready to get started, just give us a call at any time and we will begin the process.