$2.1B up for grabs in new grants by DHS

The Homeland Security Department announced its annual allocations for state and local agencies for disasters and terrorist attacks. What targets does DHS want protected?

The Homeland Security Department has begun distribution of $2.1 billion in counterterrorism and disaster preparedness grants to state and local agencies for the 2011 fiscal year, officials announced.

Congress and DHS have made the preparedness allocations annually since 2003 when the department opened. Much of the funding is designated for equipment, training and planning services, including significant portions devoted to communications equipment, operations centers, mobile devices, monitoring systems and other information technology. This year, the amount appropriated by Congress was $780 million less than the fiscal 2010 enacted level.

Reduced funding led the department to focus the grant awards on high-risk areas, based on assessments of risks and vulnerabilities, according to a departmental news release on Aug. 24.

"In today's tight fiscal environment, we are setting clear priorities and focusing on the areas that face the greatest risk to maximize our limited grant dollars," Secretary Janet Napolitano said in the release.

The new grants include:

  • $662 million for the Urban Areas Security Initiative, with 11 cities deemed Tier I eligible for $540 million and 20 cities deemed Tier II eligible for $121 million.
  • $526 million for State Homeland Security Program for preparedness activities by states, with 25 percent dedicated to law enforcement.
  • $329 million for state emergency management agencies.
  • $235 million for port security programs.
  • $200 million for transit system security grants.
  • $54 million for Operation Stonegarden coordination activities to secure maritime borders.
  • $45 million for Driver’s License Security Grant Program.
  • $34 million for the Metropolitan Medical Response System to enhance preparedness for regional mass casualties.
  • $22 million for intercity passenger rail/ Amtrak security.
  • $18 million for non-profit organization preparedness for organizations at high risk.
  • $14 million for regional all-hazards planning for catastrophic events.
  • $14 million for emergency operations centers.
  • $10 million for tribal security grants, $9 million for Citizen Corp community organizations,$7 million for freight rail security and $5 million for intercity bus security.