Training in Alabama was eye opening and awesome!!! The accommodations were larger dorm rooms with in-room coffee, frig and microwave, and a TV. For two weeks, these were much appreciated. I only shared a bathroom with one other person:) I learned mostly about the government branches like Department of Homeland Security and how FEMA fits under that. Of course, there were new computer programs to learn and new i-phones had to be loaded with these. I had many aha moments and many were not about the job. The main one about the job was learned on the 2nd day when I realized I would not be working directly with the public (unless it fell under ‘other duties as assigned’ when my first duties were done!).
So, what is a Logistics Specialist?
- Moves and transports goods to the location directed
- Reconciles shipping documents, inventory lists, and property transfer reports
- Loads /unloads trucks, help setup, breakdown offices, organizes the supply room
- Provides mail service including generating UPS shipping orders.
Looks like I need to start lifting weights! IT also falls under Logistics so maybe I can ‘work’ in that area at some point.
Other than seeing my name placard with the official governmental FEMA seal, many hi-lites included meeting amazing people. All ages and races were there and many had previous military or government experience. A strong young woman was ex-army and was one of those brave people who invaded Iraq and served other tours. She was willing to share stories and pictures. I also met an ex- NYC cop who helped with 9-11. One Coast Guard guy was instrumental in pumping out the NYC tunnel when it filled with water during Hurricane Sandy. Another ex-Coast Guard guy chased bad guys and one more ex-military commander is still a military band director.
I am so blessed as each of them shared a bit of their life with me and some are reading this post!!! Having to be ready to be on a plane in 24 hours from the call (for two years) may be a challenge but my ‘go bag’ is packed and waiting. FEMA responds wherever a significant number homes or business are lost and the disaster overwhelms local, country and state resources. They are used for many more disasters than those that make the nightly news.
A simple gal from North Dakota stood out amongst the southerners – out of over 70 people, I am not aware of any other from the Midwest (except Chicago). Did I mention Puerto Rico had at least 3 students there? From my very homogenous background, the sights and sounds of the American melting pot was truly an experience and one that I loved!