The Office of Personnel Management has sent a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies notifying them that they are authorized to use emergency hiring authority to deal with the problems resulting from Hurricane Katrina.
According to the OPM memo, [Y]ou are authorized to make excepted appointments under 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(3) to fill, on a temporary basis for up to I year, positions affected by or needed to deal with the devastation."
OPM has also advised agencies that "You may also consider making appointments under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (PL. 93-288, as amended) which allows you to hire temporary staff, experts, and consultants to provide disaster relief during emergencies declared by the President."
OPM has also set up an emergency number of use by federal retirees and retired federal employees impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The toll-free number to contact for assistance is 1-800-307-8298.