It's not well known, but FEMA hires temporary federal employees to do the same kind of disaster work as the Red Cross has been doing for years; disaster assessment and casework. I am not sure of how to get into these jobs, as FEMA never told me how I got onto their lists; I suspect it was CERT training.
But once you're in, it's salary + OT + per diem + (frequently) a car to use on scene. This would be a great job for a college student between terms (especially if the college blew away to Oz..) or one contemplating a federal career and wanting to get a leg up. So, here's my suggestion if you are interested:
* IS-7 A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance
* IS-100.FW Introduction to the Incident Command System, I-100 for Federal Disaster Workers
* IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
* IS-200 Basic Incident Command System, I-200 for Federal Disaster Workers
3. Once you've done all that, check the USA JOBS website for postings.
4. Then, contact your closest FEMA office and ask, gently, politely, about temporary work in the disaster area. Be prepared to tell them you are prepared to accept hardship.
5. Other agencies will have temp jobs. Refer back to that USAJOBS site and do other searches.
6. Until accepted, also call your area fire departments and emergency management offices (large cities and some counties) and ask about local CERT training( they may call it something else).
=== Now, if you are willing to volunteer, instead ===
7. Volunteer at the Freedom Corps site. Click the radio button for Public Safety & Disaster Preparation and specify your target state(s).
8. Keep checking back at the Freedom Corps site for new volunteer needs.
Update: Here is the web page where FEMA will officially list employment vacancies for temp jons in disaster recovery.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.