The Department of Homeland Security is seeking volunteers from across the Federal government to join the Surge Capacity Force, to support communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Our Nation’s need is great, and the volunteers who staff the Surge Capacity Force play a critical role in ensuring survivors receive the resources and assistance they urgently require.

This is the first time the Surge Capacity Force is open to the entire Federal workforce, and you have a unique role to play if you choose to answer the call to service.

Eligible volunteers will immediately deploy to a personnel mobilization center in Anniston, Alabama to receive the necessary training, skill assessment, and duty assignment prior to deploying to the disaster area. Surge Capacity Force volunteers will be on assignment for a period not to exceed 45 days, engaging directly with disaster survivors, helping them to navigate available programs, and applying for federal disaster assistance. The most urgent need is staffing FEMA’s call centers and community Disaster Recovery Centers.

You are eligible for this program if you:


  • Office Chief writing approval;
  • Have not been disciplined or under investigation within the last 12 months;
  • Possess a current personnel security investigation (Public Trust);
  • Possess an HSPD-12 compliant employee identification badge (PIV);
  • Trained in BEP policies concerning time and attendance and travel voucher procedures when deployed away from duty station;
  • Have a government issued travel card; and
  • Can deploy within 48 hours.

Other conditions to consider:

  • Assignments are for 45 days;
  • Camp-Like environment and accommodations; and
  • Rigorous work schedule (7 days a week; 12 hour work shifts).

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Frequently Asked Questions in the Response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma