Tribal emergency managers will receive $1.7 million in preparedness grants as part of nearly $1.8 billion in grants announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants are designed to help state, local and tribal governments with protection, response and recovery for all disasters, according to a DHS press release. "These grants provide direct support for regional preparedness, urban security and medical response efforts in the communities across the country," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in the release.
The new allocations include steps the DHS has taken to improve the ability of state, local and tribal governments to apply for and use FEMA grants, according to the release, including:
- considering stakeholder feedback;
- ensuring that state, local and tribal governments understand how funds can be used to sustain long-term project; and
- developing a more transparent, efficient application process.
The tribal grants target an area heretofore, overlooked, according to some. "We are particularly happy with the funds designated to tribal emergency managers who are a critical yet often overlooked partner in the nation's layered emergency management system," said Russell Decker, the International Association of Emergency Managers president. "We are also encouraged by the secretary's pledge to make the grant process less cumbersome for local, tribal and state recipients. It's clear the administration is listening to the key stakeholders."
The grant allocations were announced as follows:
Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) -- $1.7 billion will be split between:
- State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) -- $861.1 million will build and strengthen preparedness capabilities at all levels through planning, equipment and readiness activities.
- Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) -- $798.6 million will enhance urban preparedness capabilities in 62 high-threat, high-density areas. The seven highest risk areas (Tier 1) were allocated approximately $439 million, or 55 percent of available funds, while the remaining areas (Tier 2) will receive approximately the remaining $359 million.
- Metropolitan Medical Response System Program (MMRS) -- $39.8 million will be divided evenly among 124 MMRS jurisdictions, will improve regional mass casualty incident preparedness and response capabilities.
- Citizen Corps Program (CCP) -- $14.6 million will bring community and government leaders together to engage citizens in community preparedness, response and recovery activities.
- State Homeland Security Program Tribal (SHSP Tribal) -- $1.7 million will be provided directly to eligible tribal applicants to implement preparedness initiatives.
- Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) -- $15 million will support target-hardening activities at nonprofit organizations at high risk of a terrorist attack.
- Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP) -- $34 million will enhance catastrophic incident preparedness in selected high-risk urban areas and support technical assistance funding in fiscal; 2009. The RCPGP supports coordination of regional planning for catastrophic events.
For more information go to www.dhs.gov and www.fema.gov/grants.