On Feb. 14, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf announced the release of nearly $1.8 billion for preparedness.
The grant programs, which fund state, local, tribal and territorial governments, transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to improve the nation’s readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.
The grants reflect the department’s focus on funding for programs that address our nation’s immediate security needs and ensure public safety in our communities. In 2020, DHS identified four critical priority areas for attention in the FY 2020 grant cycle: cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, intelligence and information sharing, and emerging threats.
Grant recipients under state homeland and urban area programs must dedicate a minimum of 20% of the award amounts to address the DHS priority areas by allocating no less than 5% to each category. Applicants will be required to submit investment justifications that address these priorities, and DHS will conduct an effectiveness review process to ensure grant funding is allocated to projects that most effectively address these priorities.
While several of the grant programs include changes from past practices, these changes also reflect comments and criticisms we have heard from stakeholder about the need for new ideas and new strategies in the following critical grant programs.
- Homeland Security Grant Program – more than $1 billion including:
– State Homeland Security Program: $415 million.
– Urban Area Security Initiative: $615 million.
– Operation Stonegarden: $90 million.
- Emergency Management Performance Grants: more than $355 million.
- Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program: $15 million.
- Nonprofit Security Grant Program: $90 million.
- Intercity Passenger Rail Program: Amtrak $10 million.
- Intercity Bus Security Grant Program: $2 million.
- Port Security Grant Program: $100 million.
- Transit Security Grant Program: $88 million.
For 2020, the Urban Area Security Initiative will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 32 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This represents Congressional intent to limit funding to those urban areas that represent up to 85 percent of the nationwide risk, as stated in the Explanatory Statement accompanying the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2019 (Pub. L. No. 116-6).
All preparedness notices of funding opportunities can be found at www.grants.gov. Final submissions must be made through the Non-Disaster (ND) Grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov.
Further information on DHS’s preparedness grant programs is available on the DHS and FEMA websites.
The National Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) has initiated a second application period, beginning Feb. 17 for organizations that provided services to southern border migrants who were released from the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.
These supplemental grants are for eligible expenses such as food, shelter, and supportive assistance incurred by social service agencies that have experienced, or are experiencing, a significant influx of southern border migrants between Jan. 1, 2019 and Jan. 31, 2020.
The first application period covered Jan.1 through June 30, 2019 and awarded over $8 million to more than 80 organizations.
More information is available on the EFSP website. Organizations may also send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 703-706-9660.
Beginning March 1, FEMA is implementing changes to the nomination process that is used to request exercise support. In the new process, FEMA will review nomination forms twice a year in March, and again in September. Decisions will be sent to qualifying community partners by May 1 for the spring round, and Nov. 2 for the fall round.
FEMA provides no-cost assistance for exercise design, development, conduct, and evaluation to whole community partners through the National Exercise Program (NEP).
You can request exercise support by submitting the Exercise Nomination Form by emailing NEP@fema.dhs.gov. All requests will be considered; however, exercise support is dependent upon resource availability and must fit with program priorities. To learn more about the upcoming changes and program priorities attend one of the following webinars:
- 1 p.m. ET on Feb. 19,
- 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 20,
- 9 a.m. ET on Feb. 26
- Audio-only conference line: 1-800-320-4330, pin 559550#
- Video-only FEMA Adobe Connect link
For questions, please send an email to NEP@fema.dhs.gov.
The FEMA National Advisory Council is recruiting qualified individuals for the 2020 membership cycle. FEMA is now accepting applications for up to 13 open positions in discipline areas including standards setting and accrediting, non-elected local tribal official, emergency response provider, and others.
The council is a federal advisory committee of up to 35 members that advises the FEMA Administrator on all aspects of emergency management to ensure input from and coordination with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and the private sector on federal plans, programs, and strategies for all hazards. The NAC provides consensus recommendations to the Administrator and gives FEMA access to expertise, information, and advice on a broad range of issues.
Council members represent a geographically diverse mix of officials, emergency managers, and emergency response providers from all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, tribes and the private sector. Individuals appointed to these positions represent the whole community and bring their experience, expertise, a diversity of views, and a willingness to express them.
FEMA requests that those interested in serving on the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC) submit an application no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 13. Detailed instructions on how to apply can be found on the FEMA NAC Membership Application site.
On Feb. 12, FEMA published a Federal Register notice for public comments on two proposed changes to the Code of Federal Regulations regarding publication requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The first proposal changes the requirement that community loss of eligibility notices must be published in the Federal Register. The second proposal is to revise and remove the regulation requirement that FEMA maintain a list of communities eligible for flood insurance in the Code of Federal Regulations.
FEMA proposes both of these requirements be published and maintained as lists on the internet or through another comparable method.
Comments are due no later than April 13. Detailed instruction on how to comment can be found on the Federal Register site.
FEMA Holds Webinars on Exercise and Evaluation
On Feb. 5, FEMA released revisions to the 2020 Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) Doctrine. The doctrine provides a set of guiding principles for exercise programs and a common approach to exercise program management, design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.
FEMA will host webinars with information, highlights and changes at the following times and dates:
- 3 p.m. ET on Feb 18
- 9 a.m. ET on Feb. 20
- 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 25
- 9 a.m. ET on Feb. 27
Visit the FEMA website for additional webinar dates. Webinars will continue until May 15.
FEMA Conducts Nonprofit Security Grant Webinars
FEMA is hosting a series of webinars focused on the Nonprofit Security Grant Program which provides funding support for physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations and promotes emergency preparedness coordination and collaboration between public and private community representatives and state and local government agencies.
Each webinar will present the same content, including an overview of the grant, information on program eligibility and allowable costs, and a moderated question and answer session. The FEMA Adobe Connect webinars will be held at 2:30 p.m. ET throughout the next two months.
Feb. 26: 1-877-446-3914 PIN: 289309#
March 5: 1-877-446-3915 PIN: 289309#
March 12: 1-877-446-3916 PIN: 289309#
March 19: 1-877-446-3917 PIN: 289309#
March 26: 1-877-446-3918 PIN: 289309#
At 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 20, an additional webinar will discuss the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and other DHS and FEMA resources for the faith community. To participate, select FEMA Adobe Connect.
If you have any questions regarding these webinars, please contact FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate at 1-800-368-6498. Visit the FEMA website for more information on the NSGP.
FEMA Accepts Comments on New Building Code Policy
FEMA now accepts comments for the new draft policy regarding Section 1206, “Building Code and Floodplain Management Administration and Enforcement” of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act. Comments must be submitted no later than March 6 using the accompanying comments matrix. Comments received during this period will be reviewed and considered for the final version of the guide.
The draft policy and accompanying comments matrix is located on the FEMA website. If you have any questions, contact FEMA’s FEMA’s Office of Recovery.
FEMA Accepts Youth Preparedness Council Applications
FEMA is now accepting applications through March 8 for its 2020 Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) from students in grades 8-11. The YPC gives youth the chance to meet peers from across the county to work together on exciting projects. Members will also travel to Washington, D.C., for the annual YPC Summit.
Since 2012, FEMA has brought youth together from across the U.S. who are passionate about preparedness and community service.
As part of the YPC, members can build leadership skills, represent their schools and communities, and share perspectives, feedback, and opinions with FEMA.
On this FEMA podcast episode, FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning (IPAWS) Director Antwane Johnson discusses the incredible capability of IPAWS and how recent upgrades serve an important role in our nation’s public safety and national security communications infrastructure.
The FEMA podcast is an audio program series available to anyone interested in learning more about the agency, hearing about innovation in the field of emergency management, and listening to stories about communities and individuals recovering after disasters.