Did the Obama Administration get rid of the "old" FEMA employees in order to bring in the new Americorp/FEMA Corps? IF so Obama OWNS the Hurricane Sandy disaster. JMO

FEMA employees were told that they had to reapply in March 2012.

End of an Era: FEMA Eliminates Its Disaster Assistance Employees

Eric Wynn, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Apr 18, 2012

When a disaster strikes, America turns to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as its go to agency in times of trouble. FEMA in turn relies on its Disaster Assistance Employees, a group of dedicated employees who sacrifice their personal lives, to help those in America who are in need. Responding within hours of a phone call, these employees help communities rebuild when disaster strikes. Often embedded for months in damaged communities, Disaster Assistance Employees inspect houses for damages, help applicants fill out paperwork to receive aid, and sometimes just provide a shoulder to cry on.

On March 23, 2012 FEMA sent out form letters to every one of their Disaster Assistance Employees, which by some estimates are 10,000 strong. It was a simple one page letter which opened with the need to strengthen the workforce, be more efficient and the desire to keep the employee base informed. Inconspicuous enough, but, in the third paragraph of this simple letter was an ominous and unexpected phrase; On March 24, 2012 all Current DAE appointments will expire. At that time, we will automatically reappoint you to a new term, which will expire on December 31, 2012.

However, for many Disaster Assistance Employees, that is not what happened. In an unexpected turn of events, FEMA Regional offices began terminating Disaster Assistance Employee's immediately. Many of those employees terminated were women. Many had worked for FEMA for years and have happily sacrificed family lives for living on the road, often working 6 days a week for 10 hours a day with no form of benefits or retirement plan. The employees simply showed up to work, were given the bad news and asked to leave the offices after turning in their equipment. All left in a profound state of shock.

Fortunately, for those employees who are interested, they can apply for their old jobs again. In the same form letter informing the employees that they were being terminated was the following sentence; as part of that transition, you will have the opportunity to apply for a new position in the NDRP (National Disaster Reservist Program) if you are interested.

And who would not be interested in gain

ful employment when the country's unemployment rate is persistently over 8%? The only problem, no one knows how much they are going to be paid. Apparently FEMA which is in the process of terminating employees, asking them to reapply and join a new program has been very quiet about new salaries. The letter says these details are forthcoming. Not a very reassuring phrase when an employee pay scale already exists.

For the remaining employees, a state of fear and uncertainty has begun to set in. When will the next group of employees be asked to leave? How much longer will they be employed? Is FEMA slowly eliminating those workers who it feels are not as productive as others? These are legitimate questions when you look at the employees who were terminated and the methodology for their terminations.

FEMA has scheduled a town hall meeting for April 17, 2012 to discuss the events that have occurred and to discuss what will be forthcoming. You can be assured every Disaster Assistance Employee still working will be listening in on this conference call.

End of an Era: FEMA Eliminates Its Disaster Assistance Employees - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com


The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and theCorporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) have launched an innovative partnership to establish a FEMA-devoted unit of 1,600 service corps members within AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) solely devoted to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.This partnership builds on the historic collaboration between the two agencies and will enhance the federal government’s disaster capabilities, increase the reliability and diversity of the disaster workforce, promote an ethic of service, expand education and economic opportunity for young people, and achieve significant cost savings for the American taxpayer. When the program is at full operational capability, and in an average disaster year, we expect to see a savings of approximately $60 million in a year.Every year, millions of Americans suffer the effects of natural and man-made disaster. Disasters can lead to human losses, social problems, economic harm, and environmental damage. Given the prevalence and severity of disasters and other hazards, FEMA is looking for ways to diversify and fortify its existing disaster workforce structure. FEMA is partnering with CNCS to support 1,600 additional service corps members annually within AmeriCorps NCCC, a full-time residential service program for individuals ages 18-24.FEMA Corps members focus on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.The FEMA Corps members serve for a 10 month term with an option to extend for a second year. The program will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields. During their service, they will gain significant training and experience in disaster services and will provide important support to disaster survivors. The first members began serving in August 2012 and the program will reach full capacity within 18 months.To be considered for FEMA Corps, you must first apply to AmeriCorps NCCC.

Benefits to Disaster Survivors, Communities and the Taxpayer

This innovative partnership is a win all around - benefiting communities and individuals affected by disasters; disaster response organizations; those who serve, and the taxpayer.Strengthening the Nation’s Disaster Response Capacity:The partnership provides a trained and reliable resource dedicated to support disaster operations, while enhancing the entire emergency management workforce.Achieving Significant Cost Savings to the Taxpayer: This partnership is projected to achieve significant cost savings by using a cost-effective approach to providing disaster services.

Creating Pathways to Work for Young People: By providing training, experience, and educational opportunity, the partnership will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields.

Promoting an Ethic of National Service: The partnershipstrengthens our nation’s culture of service and civic engagement by mobilizing corps members and community volunteers to provide critical disaster services.

Modernizing Government Operations to Improve Performance: By coordinating between agencies, CNCS and FEMA are advancing the President’s management goals of working across government, managing across sectors, and promoting efficiency
AmeriCorps.gov > FEMA Corps -- AmeriCorps in Action

Welcome to the FEMA Corps Inaugural Class

September 14, 2012
2:05 pm

Vicksburg, Miss., Sep. 13, 2012 -- FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino gives the keynote address at the Induction Ceremony for the inaugural class of FEMA Corps members. FEMA Corps members assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.

Originially posted by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Rich Serino on Thursday, August 13, 2012

Yesterday, we welcomed 231 energetic members into the first ever FEMA Corps class. The members just finished off their first month of training with our partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and are one step closer to working in the field on disaster response and recovery. They will now head to FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness to spend the next two weeks training in their FEMA position-specific roles. Once they complete both the CNCS and FEMA training, these 231 dedicated FEMA Corps members will be qualified to work in one of a variety of disaster related roles, ranging from Community Relations to Disaster Recovery Center support.

FEMA Corps builds on the great work of AmeriCorps to establish a service cadre dedicated to disaster response and recover. To be sure, responding to disasters is nothing new for Americorps. In fact, the great work that AmeriCorps already does during disasters was the inspiration for FEMA Corps. When I visited communities all over the country that were devastated by disasters, from Joplin, MO to Bastrop, Texas, I always encountered the incredible members of AmeriCorps lending a helping hand to survivors. I was continually struck by the level of compassion, dedication, and skill these members brought to the table.

The inductees are pioneers, combining the exceptional record of citizen service at AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps with FEMA’s specialized mission of supporting survivors with their recovery after a disaster. The new members, who range in age from 18-24 years old, will contribute to a dedicated, trained, and reliable disaster workforce by working full-time for ten months on federal disaster response and recovery efforts. As we announced in March, FEMA Corps sets the foundation for a new generation of emergency managers; it promotes civic engagement and offers an educational and financial opportunity for young people; and is designed to strengthen the nation’s disaster response by supplementing FEMA’s existing Reservist workforce.

I commend and thank every member of the inaugural class of FEMA Corps for their dedication to helping communities in need. Welcome to FEMA Corps!


EXCLUSIVE: FEMA teams told to 'sightsee' as Sandy victims suffered

By Perry Chiaramonte
Published December 07, 2012

  • Bebeto Matthews/AP

Hurry up and wait.
That’s what first responders were left to do after being deployed by FEMA to assist in the storm-ravaged areas in the initial days after superstorm Sandy, FoxNews.com has learned. A FEMA worker who spoke to FoxNews.com described a chaotic scene at New Jersey's Fort Dix, where emergency workers arrived as the storm bore down on the Atlantic Coast. The worker said officials at the staging area were unprepared and told the incoming responders there was nothing for them to do for nearly four days.
“They told us to hurry, hurry, hurry," the worker, who works at the agency's headquarters in Washington and volunteered to deploy for the storm recovery effort. "We rushed to Fort Dix, only to find out that our liaison didn’t even know we were coming.”
“The regional coordinator even said to us, ‘I don’t know why you were rushed here because we don’t need you,'” said the worker, who spoke out of frustration with the lack of planning and coordination following the devastating storm.
'I worked in Katrina and Katrina was run better than Sandy.'
- Anonymous FEMA first responder

After arriving in New Jersey, the worker and others waited for three full days and parts of another, even as reports dominated the television of the devastation and suffering wrought by the storm, which struck land on Oct. 29. When they asked for assignments, they couldn't believe the response, according to the worker.
“They told us to go to the Walmart nearby or to check out the area but told us to stay out of the areas affected by the storm,” the worker said. "If our boss back at headquarters had not been alerted and didn’t make a push to get us assignments, the people running the show on the ground level would have just kept us sitting in the barracks.”
In a Nov. 3 email obtained by FoxNews.com, an administrator back in Washington urged the regional team to get his people into the field after learning they were idled..
"My people are being told to go sightseeing," the e-mail reads. "They may have a mission in 2-4 days .... I am asking them to reach out to contacts there that may be able to use their expertise ... We will continue to seek these opportunities as otherwise these personnel resources will be wasted ... Please advise way ahead ..."
Told of the worker's complaints, a FEMA official acknowledged that there were delays in getting responders out into the field but said the time was mostly spent firming up training and accommodations.
“I’m not going to say we couldn’t have done better,” Michael Byrne, a FEMA federal coordinating officer, told FoxNews.com. “I can understand the emotional commitment. They want to jump right in and start with the effort. I feel the same way.
“The time was used to find the best place for them and for quick-training," he said. "There were logistical challenges but we have been fully engaged in the areas since then.”
But that didn't jibe with the account of the worker, who said the much-maligned agency seemed more organized during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“When there’s disaster, every second counts," the worker said. "That clock starts ticking once the storm makes landfall.
“I worked in Katrina and Katrina was run better than Sandy.”
Even after FEMA workers were finally sent out from Fort Dix, many did not have useful information to convey to victims, said the worker.
“They are put out in the field and they don’t know what to tell people," the worker said. "Survivors will fall through the cracks.”
Byrne, who noted there are still 800 FEMA workers in the field helping victims recover, said the responders he dealt with were generally well-prepared.
“If there were other people who weren’t able to help, I’d like to know who they are,” he said. "We can always do better, but they have done a great job on short notice."
The agency has come under fire from residents and elected leaders, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)—who represents some of the hardest hit areas in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. He recently told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that FEMA is not prepared to respond effectively to disasters, especially in urban areas.
"Hurricane Sandy should be a major wake-up call,” Nadler said. "When disaster strikes, our densely populated urban areas and economic centers must be able to recover quickly."
FoxNews.com's Jessica Mulvihill contributed to this report.

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