2011 DHS Funding: Winners, Losers, and Those Playing another Day
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Firefighter Assistance Grants - $810 million ($810 million in 2010)
- $405 million for Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) ($390 million in 2010)
- $405 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) ($420 million in 2010)
One of the few programs that appear to have come out of the budgeting process unscathed is the consistently popular Firefighter Assistance Grants, which supports both the equipment-centric Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and the personnel-friendly Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER). The AFG program itself provides three individual categories of support including: Operations and Safety, Vehicle Acquisition, and Regional Projects. Additionally, the SAFER program is a welcomed opportunity to fund the salaries and benefits for full-time firefighter positions. Beginning April 2011, information on the AFG and SAFER programs will be found at www.fema.gov/firegrants in place of the traditional www.firegrantsupport.com.
Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) - $340 million in 2011 ($340 million in 2010)
The 2011 EMPG program will look similar to the 2010 offering in both the size and scope of the grant funding available. The program continues to assist state and local governments in their efforts to enhance all-hazards emergency management capabilities.
The Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP), unfunded in 2011 ($50 million in 2010).
The BZPP formerly supported activities designed to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure against the risks associated with a potential terrorist attack. While infrastructure and resources protection is still a national priority, interested grantseekers should explore other grant options such as SHSP, EMPG, and Operation Stonegarden.
Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP), unfunded in 2011 ($50 million in 2010).
IECGP may be a program remembered more for its potential than for actual programmatic impact. Derived from the well-funded and extremely equipment-friendly Public Safety Interoperable Communication (PSIC) program, IECGP never seemed to live up to the hype. Even the government appropriations were consistently disappointing as Congress never came close to the appropriation levels allowed by the authorizing statute (up to $400 million).
Those interested in supporting communication interoperability should consider targeting AFG, SHSP, and EMPG.
Playing Another Day:
Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) - $725 million in 2011 ($887 million in 2010) The UASI program is designed to enhance the regional preparedness efforts in various high-threat, high-density, urban areas across the county. In 2010, the “UASI eligible” areas numbered 64. What remains to be seen is how the local allocations will look in 2011, especially in a zero-sum game such as this. You can be sure that cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago will be lobbying for their share of the UASI pie in 2011.
State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) - $725 million in 2011 ($950 million in 2010)
Existing as one of the more comprehensive DHS programs, support through SHSP will ultimately impact a
variety of homeland security partners and efforts related to the prevention and response to terrorism, natural disasters, and other “all hazards.” Still, the decrease in SHSP funding represents one of the more troublesome 2011 DHS funding cuts. While $725 million is the budgeted program allocation, a truer SHSP amount is closer to $580 million once additional calculations are done. New for this year, we’ll find formerly autonomous programs now being funding as part of SHSP. Those programs include Operation Stonegarden (OSGP) ($55 million), Driver’s License Security Grant Program (DLSGP) ($45 million), Citizen Corps Program (CCP) ($10 million), and Metropolitan Medical Response Systems (MMRS) ($35 million).
Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) - $250 million in 2011 ($300 million in 2010) This program is designed to support sustained efforts that protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism, major disasters, and other emergencies.
Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) - $250 million in 2011 ($300 million in 2010)
PSGP focuses on security activities involving transportation infrastructure and more specifically provides grant funding to enhance the protection of critical port infrastructure across the country.
Emergency Operations Center Grants (EOC) - $15 million in 2011 ($60 million in 2010)
The EOC program has consistently proven to be a good funder of emergency management and preparedness capabilities for many EOCs across the country. The fact that the lion’s share of the money (roughly 80% in 2010) was available through a non-competitive discretionary process often makes this program’s support as contingent upon whom you know as what your project supports.
The ebb and flow of an ever-changing grant landscape inevitably leaves many question marks in its wake. Fortunately, the methods and next steps for getting in front of this 2011 DHS money appear relatively unchanged, as does the fact that billions of dollars will still be available for local, regional, and state support. Continue to utilize all contacts and resources at your disposal as you ultimately work to position your project(s) as the best possible use of existing DHS money. Additional information is available at www.dhs.gov/xgovt/grants/ and www.homelandsecuritygrants.info.