The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced the final allocations for $475 million for several Fiscal Year 21 competitive preparedness grant programs.
The programs, according to DHS, “provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other disasters.” And they focus on four critical priority areas: cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, domestic violent extremism, and emerging threats, all of which continue to weigh heavy in the minds of emergency management professionals nationwide.
Following is a breakdown of the competitive preparedness grant programs, as described by FEMA:
Operation Stonegarden: Provides $90 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.
Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program: Provides $15 million to eligible tribal nations to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.
Nonprofit Security Grant Program: Provides $180 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. (Note: This year, $90 million is provided to nonprofits in Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)-designated areas, and $90 million is provided to nonprofits outside those designated urban areas located in any state or territory.)
Port Security Grant Program: Provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.
Transit Security Grant Program: Provides $88 million to owners and operators of public transit systems to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program: Provides $2 million to owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.
“Many of the communities and nonprofit organizations receiving these grants have been historically underserved,” said Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The funding allocated for each of the grant programs will allow these communities and organizations to build, sustain, and improve their preparedness and response capabilities.”
As a side note, these allocations, when combined with the nearly $1.5 billion in non-competitive grant funding made available earlier this year, equate to nearly $2 billion in FY21.
To learn more about these and other preparedness grant programs, visit www.dhs.gov and https://www.fema.gov/grants.