Read a great article on what to expect. Check out the article on Freightwaves.com.
The basics – There will be thousands of loads. Many of them will be posted on Trulos.com Free Load Board
You will have to wait around a lot when you get there. Lots of other loads and trucks around and no one will know who you are.
Keep notes and records on detention – FEMA Pays detention
Get everything in writing and if you use a broker they get paid by cost plus so they are usually ok with paying you also
There may be no cell service
There may be no restaurants
Find FEMA Loads on Trulos by visiting the Free Load Board
Another Great Article by DAT
Many of the FEMA loads are posted by large freight brokers with names that should be familiar to you. If you haven’t worked with them before, check their credit scores and days-to-pay, then look them up in DAT Company Reviews to see what other carriers had to say about them in the past.
What should you charge for FEMA loads? I can’t tell you what to charge, but be aware that when you’re handling freight for emergency relief, you could be held over for a long time, and after you finally unload, you’re pretty much guaranteed to leave with an empty trailer.
Here is some hard-earned advice about handling FEMA loads, so you won’t lose your shirt:
1. Take your back haul with you. What does that mean? It’s very unlikely that you’ll get a load out, so you need to adjust your rate accordingly.
2. Include layover and detention pay in the rate agreement. You’ll see loads at $5.00 per mile, which sounds great, but remember that it could take days to get offloaded.
3. Ask the broker about quick pay, or try factoring, to improve cash flow. Government agencies are not exactly known for fast payment. Factoring can help you to get paid right away.
4. Safety is your #1 priority. If you see water covering the road, just don’t go there.
5. HOS rules are suspended for some FEMA loads, but it’s not a sure thing. Verify all the rules before you take the load.