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Disaster Deployment Information

Disasters can be natural or manmade.  Natural disasters include such things as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and ice storms. A manmade disaster would be a disaster like the one that occurred on September 11, 2001.  To date, all disasters that the Reemployed Annuitant Cadre has been involved in have been natural, the largest of which was Hurricane Katrina.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The RAC becomes involved when requests for help are received from a U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Division through Emergency Management channels.

In the form of taskers through ENGLink.

The USACE web-based Emergency Management command and control system.

An official request in the ENGLink system, for disaster related assistance, from a USACE Division, through Emergency Management channels.  Each tasker is a request for one person (whether it is for initial assignment or for extension of duty).  Taskers contain the following information as well as other information pertinent to the assignment: Tasker number; name of the event; description of duties; name of person selected and who selected him/her; date tour of duty begins; where and when to report for duty and directions to the location; person to contact at the assignment location and phone number; phone number to make hotel reservations; and description of duties.

The RAC Program Manager and support staff develops a list of qualified personnel from the RAC roster, based on tasker job specifications (skills required, based on disaster site needs) and contact those persons, via email or telephone, to determine availability.   The selection of nominees is based on such factors as qualifications, timeliness in indicating availability, willingness to accept site conditions and working hours, and the need for an appropriate combination of experienced personnel and new employees at a worksite.  The Reemployed Annuitant program strives to “build the bench” by training new RAs for emergency response situations, but must also ensure that sufficient experienced RAs are on site.  Generally, the first qualified RA to indicate availability and a willingness to accept site and working conditions will be selected.  If there are additional taskers with the same job specifications, additional nominations will be made using the same selection criteria. Note – in order to deploy an RA must have a current Medical Screening good for at least 60 days from the effective date of deployment indicating that he/she is fit to deploy.

Yes.  Since the primary purpose of the Reemployed Annuitant program is to provide support in the event of disasters, RAs are often required to travel to disaster sites or supporting offices.  If an RA’s home is at a location remote from the disaster or support site, he/she will be required to travel if they want to work.  If the RA’s home is located within commuting distance he/she will be able commute.  A requirement of the program is that Reemployed Annuitants must be available to travel when needed.

That depends on the situation.  In the event of a disaster, quick response is often critical, so those employees who are immediately available are most likely to be selected for deployment.   In some cases employees travel within 2-3 days of being notified.  Those identified as first responders may travel with even less notice.  In other situations, where a quick response isn’t critical, longer notices are given.
RAs working at locations remote from their homes will be compensated for travel expenses in accordance with the Joint Travel Regulations and RAC Standard Operating Procedures.  This typically consists of travel expenses (the cost of airline tickets, vehicle mileage, etc.), per diem (based on the location of the job), rental car expenses (if a rental car is authorized) and some miscellaneous expenses such as laundry and parking expenses. 
The RA Office support staff creates all travel orders and they are received via email.
RAs report to the Joint Field Office (JFO) or Recovery Field Office (RFO) in accordance with the instructions received in the tasker notification.
  • CAC – Must be current and the pin active.  If not the RA cannot deploy.
  • Government Travel Credit Card (if RA has one)
  • Driver’s License (Current)
  • Defensive  Driving Certificate
  • Immunization Record (Bring copy)
  • Safety Shoes (steel toed – See information below)
  • Work Gloves, hearing protection, etc.
  • Hard Hat (If RA has one)*
  • High Visibility Vest (If RA has one)*
  • When appropriate, antibacterial wipes/bleach-containing spray cleaner (not aerosol)
  • Safety Glasses/Goggles as required
  • Flashlight (if RA has one)
  • Corps of Engineers shirts (If RA has shirts) *

* The RFO or JFO will normally supply such things as hard hats, high visibility vests and Corps of Engineer Emergency Management shirts if the RA doesn’t already have them.

Safety shoes (steel toed) may be obtained prior to deploying or at a disaster site.   They must be purchased by the RA and can be purchased at any store.  The cost cannot exceed $120.00 and only 1 pair per year is allowed.  In order to be reimbursed, the RA must provide a copy of the receipt showing where purchased, the price paid and the date purchased and a safety boot form signed by the field supervisor (boots will be charged to the disaster site) and submit to the safety shoe coordinator at ceco-c-rao-safetyboots@usace.army.mil.
A timesheet with instructions will be provided.  All timesheets must be signed by the RA and on-site supervisor.  The signed timesheet is to be faxed (202-315-3464) or scanned and emailed to (ceco-c-rao-time@usace.army.mil).
The preferred method of travel is by air.  Other options include renting a vehicle and driving to the disaster site (rental costs cannot exceed the federal government rate) and traveling via privately owned vehicle (mileage reimbursement cannot exceed constructive costs).  Only one travel day of M&IE will be paid if an alternative method to flying is used.  If travel via privately owned vehicle (POV) is chosen the RA will not be permitted to rent a vehicle for use at the disaster site at government expense.  Vicinity mileage may be paid for POV use if it is for official government business and is authorized in the RA’s travel orders.  Note – If travel via recreational vehicle (RV) is chosen the RA will be reimbursed for expenses incurred while traveling to and from the disaster site (mileage reimbursement is the same as for a POV, including any other authorized expenses, and cannot exceed constructive costs) but the RA will not be permitted to rent a vehicle for use at the disaster site and cannot use the RV while conducting official government business.
The quality and location of lodging at disaster sites depends on the situation and what is available.  Those deployed shortly after a disaster occurs often live in primitive conditions (tents, trailers, etc) until utilities are restored and motels and hotels reopen.  If housing isn’t available in the local area, moderate to long distance commuting may be required.  Each situation is unique and the availability of good housing normally improves with the passage of time.
RAs are provided with a travel voucher (DD 1351-2) and instructions or it can be obtained by clicking here.  Travel vouchers are to be completed every two weeks (unless on repeated travel orders and/or within 5 days after completing a TDY assignment and returning to home of record) and must be signed by both the RA and on-site supervisor and are to be emailed to ceco-c-rao-travel@usace.army.mil or faxed to 202-315-3516.

Yes.  RAs deployed to disaster or field locations must comply with immunization requirements as directed at the time of deployment and are responsible for making arrangements to obtain immunizations prior to deployment.  TDP (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and hepatitis A are required.  Other immunizations may be required based on the deployment location and conditions.  RAs are responsible for all medical costs associated with required immunizations.  It is the responsibility of each RA to insure that immunizations are current and to take immunization records with them on all assignments.

RAs who are deployed for a period of 60 days or more may be authorized to return to their home of record or go to an alternate location after 30 consecutive days of duty (TDY) and after every 30 consecutive days thereafter.  This must be coordinated with the field supervisor.  The standard time period is four days (2 days for travel and 2 days off).  Authorization must be approved by the Field Supervisor and Mission Manager.  If going to home of record the traveler will receive transportation (actual or constructive cost of airfare, rental car, etc.) and three-fourths of the daily per diem for the day in route home and the day they return to duty.  They will not receive per diem for the days at home.  If traveling to an alternate location the traveler is not authorized compensation or reimbursement for transportation expenses.  The traveler is authorized reimbursement for per diem related expenses equal to those that would have been allowable had the employee remained at the TDY location.  No other expenses are reimbursable. 

Yes.  While deployed, RAs are covered by Workers’ Compensation.  It is the responsibility of the onsite supervisor to insure that proper OWCP forms are available in the event of an accident or occupational illness.  Workers’ Compensation claims will be processed by the HQ CPAC.  This will insure that the proper billing information is provided to the Department of Labor for chargeback purposes.

Yes.  An RA may extend beyond their initial period of deployment if there is still work to be done and the RA and field supervisor agree to the extension.  This must be approved via email, by the RA Office PM, before the extension can take place.    EXTENSIONS cannot increase  TDY TO more than a total of 179 consecutive days at one location.

At the end of all deployments, the RA must follow post-deployment procedures as they prepare to return to their home of record.  The procedures are as follows:

  • Coordinate with the on-site supervisor to establish the return travel date.
  • Follow any local check-out procedures to return equipment, supplies, etc. as instructed.
  • Retain the civilian employee CAC since it is required as identification for the entire duration of appointment, not just during deployments. 
  • Fill out and forward the final timesheet (inform the timekeeper that this is the final timesheet).
  • Fill out final travel voucher (DD 1351-2) and email to ceco-c-rao-travel@usace.army.mil or fax to 202-761-5690. Indicate on the back of the travel voucher in the Remarks section that this is the final travel voucher for this deployment.
  • Return to home of record.
  • Notify the RA Office PM that he/she has arrived at their home of record. 
  • Update  resume to indicate any new experience and forward to the RA Office PM.