Now, I am one step closer to realizing my dream of working in emergency management with an emphasis on disability. About six weeks ago, a friend and colleague who lives in Montana sent me a job announcement from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, regarding a job with FEMA here in Denver. A couple of days later, another friend in Montana sent me that same job announcement.
Trust me, it wasn't lost on me that two friends in MONTANA were the ones who sent the job announcement to me, so of course, I took notice! After reading it over and over and visualizing myself in the position, I made a couple of updates to my resume, sent it in, and asked my wife to pray for me. Since the process takes 4-6 weeks, I knew it would be a while before I head anything, good or bad.
Then, it happened.
FEMA called me yesterday (Friday, November 7th) and told me they want to interview me next Friday, the 14th, for the Regional Disability Integration Specialist position. If, no - WHEN - I am hired, I'll have to travel around Region 8, which is Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota to make sure that the needs of people with disabilities are met before, during and after a disaster.
Because I'll be considered an emergency manager, if a disaster happens, I will have to go to where it is. I'll also have to do lots of outreach and training, as well as write policy on disability integration. I will be on call 24/7/365 and will have to travel quite a bit, being gone sometimes for weeks or months, sometimes living in very austere conditions.
When hired (I have been visualizing myself in the job ever since I saw the announcement), I'll report to the Regional Administrator and the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination of FEMA. My position is unsupervised, so I'll be on my own a lot.
Ok, here it is straight from FEMA:
JOB SUMMARY: As the Disability Integration Specialist, you will prepare individuals, families and communities before, during and after a disaster by providing guidance tools, methods and strategies to integrate and coordinate emergency management efforts to meet the needs of all citizens, including children and adults with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
EMERGENCY ASSIGNMENT: Every FEMA employee has regular and recurring emergency management responsibilities, though not every position requires routine deployment to disaster sites. All positions are subject to recall around the clock for emergency management operations, which may require irregular work hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee's official position description. Travel requirements in support of emergency operations may be extensive in nature (weeks to months), with little advance notice, and may require employees to relocate to emergency sites with physically austere and operationally challenging conditions.
DUTIES: In this position, you will be recognized as an authority, expert, and senior technical advisor on disaster disability integration and coordination issues. You will be responsible for ensuring that the access and functional needs and requirements of individuals with disabilities are being properly included and addressed in all aspects of emergency preparedness are being properly included and addressed in all aspects of emergency preparedness and disaster response, recovery, and mitigation. Typical assignments include:
· In collaboration with the Offices of the Regional Administrator and the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC), participate in developing and implementing comprehensive procedures for managing the regional disability integration and coordination in disaster programs in accordance with Federal policy and guidelines.
· In collaboration with the Office of the Regional Administrator, participate in developing and implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that include the needs and requirements of people with physical, sensory, intellectual, cognitive and mental health disabilities to evaluate disaster programs and measures for providing equal access to persons with disabilities.
· In collaboration with the Office of the Regional Administrator and the ODIC, participate in developing and implementing policies and procedures that ensure equal access for all disaster survivors.
· Perform outreach briefings, which promote diversity and inclusive practices to include people with disabilities in preparedness and disaster programs that are in compliance with appropriate disability policy and procedures.
· Perform outreach briefings to raise awareness of reasonable accommodations, policies, procedures, and resources available to disaster applicants in FEMA programs; and process requests in accordance with appropriate Federal regulations.
See? This has Anita Cameron written all over it!
This will be my dream job, and trust me, the pay is WELL worth it and the benefits are awesome! It's a permanent position - a federal job - not tied to any political situations.
So, all of you out there who know, love and respect me - please send well wishes, prayers, good thoughts, good energy, good juju, good vibes and positive affirmations to strengthen my positive visualizations that I have been chosen for the position. I know that I am up against strong candidates, but I know that my passion shines through in my resume, in my writing and when I talk about the subject. All of my skills - teaching, organizing, writing, team-building and advocacy will be brought to bear in this position - I will be an invaluable asset to FEMA. I will dazzle and shine in that interview!