DHS Announces More Than $2.1 Billion in Preparedness Grants
On August 23, 2011 it was announced by Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, that allocations were being put in place to fund 12 preparedness grant programs. The grand total the programs are receiving is over $2.1 billion. These federal grants will be helping non-profit agencies, urban areas, territorial governments, tribal governments, private sectors and certain states. The money will go towards dealing with terrorist attacks as well as other emergencies and disasters.
The 2011 fiscal year saw a $780 million drop in grants. Napolitano stated that due to the current state of the fiscal environment, priorities are being set that are allowing the government to concentrate on those who are most at risk in order to stretch the grant money as far as possible. These grants are being spent to try and prevent threats faced by the United States.
It was recommended by the 9/11 Commission that funds provided by Homeland Security should be used to fund the areas that are at the highest risk for attacks. They stated that the allocation funds should be entirely based on a thorough assessment of not only risks faced but vulnerabilities as well. The grants that have been announced are meant for the cities that are victims of the highest number of threats and the police departments in those cities.
Grant programs awarded in 2011 include the State Homeland Security Program, Urban Areas Security Initiative, Operation Stonegarden, Metropolitan Medical Response System and the Citizens Corp Program.
The State Homeland Security Program was awarded over $526 billion to fund efforts to build strategies for dealing with threats. The Urban Areas Security Initiative was awarded over $662 million earmarked for preparing specific regions in high-risk areas to fight off threats and attacks. Operation Stonegarden was awarded over $54 million to fund the coordination of many different entities in efforts to secure maritime and land borders in the United States. The Metropolitan Medical Response System was awarded over $34 million to fund incident responses. The Citizens Corp Program was awarded over $9 million to encourage local citizens to join in the fight against terrorism.