Translator (Former Employee) – Puerto Rico – December 17, 2017
I was about to start working with this company as an interpreter as a Puerto Rico native. After hurricane Maria I was unemployed and in desperate need of work. Upon signing the contract, I was promised to work in an area near my residence and that was still much work to be done. After waiting nearly 3 weeks to be processed, and wasting gas money on completing the requested finger printing and ID badge. I was assigned Rincon, a municipality at a 3 hour drive distance. Either driving or staying at a hotel is not cost effective and I would be left paying more than I would earn on the job. They require you to provide you're own transportation and were not willing to spend anything on housing. After calling if it was a mistake I was told that no further inspection would be conducted around my region and that there was nothing they could do. If they had at least informed me of the situation before hand, instead of promising work in a reasonable distance, perhaps lodging arrangements could have been made. However I was informed of this 2 days after I was activated to begin work. This is one of the most unprofessional displays I have ever seen in a company; and am aware that several other people that applied on the same day I did were in a similar boat.
Call Center/Reviewer (Current Employee) – Winchester, VA 22601 – December 6, 2017
Contact inspectors regarding housing inspections, and looking over inspections, Assistance programs administered by Federal, State, and local governments and volunteer organizations involved in disaster response operations.
Inspector (Former Employee) – Florida – December 2, 2017
First of all, the training provided to inspectors is abysmal and nearly useless once you get in the field. You get conflicting information constantly and never know who has the correct information. The accounting department takes forever to respond and often provides inaccurate information.
You work in lousy neighborhoods for long hours without proper training. Some of the old timers at the company have an attitude and will talk down to you and act like you are an idiot for asking questions and trying to be thorough.
To top it all off, they still owe me money from 2 months ago.
Inspector (Current Employee) – Winchester, VA – November 24, 2017
I signed on with Vanguard EM as a contractor to assist in areas of natural disasters. I am currently on stand by with the company and awaiting to hopefully secure a full time position with stability and benefits.
Official response from Vanguard Emergency Management
December 11, 2017
Vanguard EM holds a federal contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct disaster housing inspections in the aftermath of large-scale disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, wildfires and earthquakes. Upon receipt of notification from FEMA, Vanguard EM deploys disaster inspectors to the declared location to assess and record damages.
To confirm, this is an independent contractor opportunity and there is no employee/employer relationship.
Job Work/Life Balance
Inspection (Current Employee) – Winchester, VA – November 22, 2017
On a typical day you get a chance to meet and help a lot of peoples.. The hardest part of the job is driving so much. And going down a lot of dirt road, the enjoyable of the job is helping and meeting new peoples.
HIS Inspector. (Current Employee) – Florida, Texas – November 21, 2017
They rip you off by stealing inspections you completed.
Management and reviewers are intimidated if you have a higher education than them. Then they cannot handle addressing you correctly.
When you supervisor says you were placed on an incorrect cut list which flags you as a garbage inspector who is not helping the people who need FEMA's assistance, yet instead are just there on a vacation. Supervisor states it is clear you have been in fact working. Facts do not matter they still send you home feeling like you are worthless and knowing you worked and did not receive the pay you were promised.
I really prayed about taking this Deployment because I believe in what FEMA does for folks who have suffered losses due to mother nature.
I know Vanguard Emergency Management is getting ready to undergo a new CEO, I only hope some reconstruction happens prior to the next round of disasters.
When you are sent out int he field you are given a list of numbers for review due to the nature of this job, you have to be able to hit the road running at very minimum. At least in the state I have been working in the manager will NOT speak to inspectors, he has his flunkies call inspectors back then they do not know the answer to the issue the inspector is trying to work out, so they have to speak to the manager and call the inspector back. Sad, Sad management.
When you call Vanguard Emergency Management to speak with an administrative person, they will not speak to you but call the field manager to get on to you because you attempted to make a wrong right.
I leave very sadlymore... due to the uneducated supervisors and reviewers who run this company.
I wish all the disaster victims who are left under Vanguard Emergency Management's HIS contact all the best luck in the world!
If changes are made to the company, I will be available when the next disaster happens. But not under this field management crew.less
Get to help folks who appreciate every little bit of help, or a kind word. They pay is really great.
Uneducated Field Management, Administration who refuses to take accountability.
The money is good and your ethic basically determines your earning potential. The harder you work, the more you make. A typical day starts a daylight and you meet with the applicants that you scheduled the night before. A typical inspection takes about 30 minutes if your efficient. After all of your scheduled inspections, you are done for the day. You go back to your hotel and schedule your day for tomorrow. There is very little day to day management as you are an independent contractor. Overall, if you are organized and self motived you can make pretty decent money during a disaster response (approx 4-8 weeks)
Overall it was a good experience based on what is required. More training is needed for the work and for the "field supervisors". The daily information that is provided to contractors to complete the work must also be the exact same information that the field supervisor provide to the inspectors, which is most cases it is not. If you are a person that needs to have lots of help or consistent feedback this is not the job for you. It is high pace and can be a stressful job.
Freedom to set times for work within limits
Lack of training and inconsistent information provided from the field supervisors
They don't embracing workplace diversity no matter how hard you work to show yourself approve. But maybe this is due to the fact that all the males are real license house inspectors and it is by contract... YOU MUST HAVE A CREDIT CARD. (the company will explain if you apply.) But overall it was a great job, great pay and great travel experience. I just wish it was not seasonal. I think that they should have some inspectors come back and do rework from home.
Helping People, Pay, Schedule, Perks and per diem.
Disaster Home Inspector (Former Employee) – Dallas, TX – November 8, 2017
The staff is unorganized, but friendly. I liked the job, but it did not last long enough. I hate the fact that I had to wait almost a month for payment, but it was worth the wait. I like the travel experience and the experience of seeing how others live because it makes you become more grateful. The staff always acted like they did not know anything, every person you talk to will give you different information. I waited around for days before my work was loaded to my tablet and all they could say was be patient, but I enjoyed it and will work with them again because now I know the process.
as a seasoned inspector coming on board with Vanguard seemed strange from day 1, however i understand the rush to get all the inspectors in the field as this is their first REAL job. Things that could drastically improve is manager / field supervisor support. The support system once pushed in the field is really lacking. Also the assignment team needs major overhaul for this company to succeed. Over all i am satisfied to complete the number of inspections i have when the work is assigned.
I believe this year will be a great learning year for the company and push them in the right direction to be prepared for another large storm. They are trying their best to keep up but physically unable to do so
Pay, Late night Broadcast, good work
lack of assigned work, contractor support once deployed
No Nonsense Contract Employer. Really Decent Personnel
Housing Services Inspector (Current Employee) – North Carolina DR 4285 – January 14, 2017
Went to a recruiting event in New Orleans, last year. Listened to the speaker talk about working for the company. Became immediately interested once I saw what skills were required, and what the the essential jobs duties were.
If you like working on independent assignments, being your own boss, and being outside, and can handle working within strict guidelines, and have a desire to really help your community, then Working for vanguard EM is for you! Get through the FEMA background check, and that's half the battle!. The money is very decent when you're working, especially if you provide you're own work vehicle, and work efficiently with your paperwork, and the applicants.
About the only suggestion I would give to the company, is to invest some money into making the training more interactive with actual feedback from inspectors just coming back from deployment. It would also help lower the training curve is inspectors were allowed to do more realistic inspection simulations before their initial deployment. I'm confident the company will get there in the near future.
Pay & A Sense of Pride for doing something inherently good!
Getting up, and getting the work done, in remote disaster aftermath work environments