FEMA and Disaster Relief Carriers
With Hurricanes Hanna and Gustav rearing their heads at the coastline of the U.S., everyone is sure of one thing, the areas hit by these beasts are going to need some major help, especially in the form of relief supplies carried by truckers.
In the current economic slump, and with looming natural disasters on the horizon, many truck drivers have their eyes on well paying loads working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And who can blame them? Making great money while providing help to disaster victims sounds like a surefire win-win scenario.
Unfortunately for many, you don't just decide you want to haul for FEMA and then start. The process of getting cleared as a carrier can take months, sometimes years. It's a process that periodically changes, and can often be tenuous, vague, and down right confusing. Only those with a large amount of gumption and can-do will be able to make it through the application process.
To start the process, you should go to FEMA's website and have a look around. The vendor page is friendly enough, but another page, "How to Market to FEMA" is where things start to get both important, and difficult. The page details 25 steps that are basically required before you ever even contact FEMA. And you'll find yourself running all over the place just to try to get these 25 things done.
And if that isn't enough to discourage someone, the workload might be. Some truckers have claimed that there is so much red tape involved with hauling for FEMA that the pay really isn't worth it. But that's just one side of the story. A helpful article in a 2005 issue of Land Line Magazine follows the journeys of three FEMA truckers; one that loved the work, one that hated hit, and one that couldn't even make it on the list.