Pros: Helping others in need
Cons: No work/life balance
You will 50-65 hours a week when there is not a disaster and make anywhere from $29,000 to $32,000. VA has gone through 2 mergers the last two years and the organization has lost an immense amount of knowledgeable, skilled staff and an immense amount of volunteers at the local and regional levels. The organization is in free fall without a vision and will likely become insolvent nationally by 2017. You will likely have a manager that does not respect your personal time, not approve your paid time off in a timely manner and expect you to answer emails that are sent at 10-11pm at night by 8am the next morning. It is a 24/7 job and even when you have staff support coverage for time off you will be called. You will have a work phone and P-card to pay bills that likely will be 5-7 weeks late in coming. You will work weekdays, weeknights, and Saturdays (at least 2 a month). The organization is not respected at the local and state levels by county or state emergency management for multiple reasons. The volunteers that do participate now are highly committed and can assist you but their numbers are few. You have top executives that make high 6 figures, tone deaf to and unresponsive to feedback from the local or regional level. You will enjoy helping others but find organization mistakes that make this consistently cumbersome and you will quickly burn out over time.