The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") has announced that it will award more than $3 billion in Fiscal Year 2009 Preparedness Grants to states, local and tribal governments, urban areas, and transportation authorities for projects that increase national preparedness and protect critical infrastructure. The funds are to be used to help these entities prepare for, prevent, and respond to disasters or emergencies, both natural and man-made. Fourteen federal grant programs make up the Preparedness Grants program, each with its own grant requirements and application deadlines. This update provides an overview of these individual grant programs, along with some of their requirements. Reed Smith's Grants & Infrastructure Practice is available to discuss these opportunities in greater depth, as well as provide a strategy for submitting a competitive grant request.
The two largest grant program categories are the Homeland Security Grant Program ("HSGP"), which totals more than $1.7 billion, and multiple infrastructure protection programs, totaling more than $845 million. HSGP funds actions that promote response and preparedness, including planning, equipment purchase and training. Within HSGP are individual grant programs specific to (1) risk to high-threat, high-density urban areas; (2) medical response in metropolitan areas; (3) border security; (4) citizen involvement in community preparedness; and (5) increasing security at nonprofit organizations at high risk of a terrorist attack. Funding for each program is competitive; however, allocation formulas are also in place – established by Congress – for many programs to ensure distribution to areas considered critical. Applications for the grant programs within this category are due March 20, 2009.
The infrastructure security program category provides grants for (1) transit security, including freight and intercity rail; (2) port security; (3) intercity bus security; (4) trucking security; and (5) buffer zone protection around "high-risk, high-consequence" facilities, such as chemical facilities, nuclear and electric plants, and dams. Again, funding is competitive for the individual grant programs within this category; however, the DHS follows allocation formulas established by Congress to ensure distribution to areas considered critical. Applications for the grant programs within this category are due Jan. 13, 2009.
The three remaining preparedness grant programs deal with (1) Emergency Management; (2) Improving Emergency Communications between local governments, first responders and others; and (3) Regional Catastrophic Preparedness. Eligibility is limited to states, based on distribution formula, and high-risk, highconsequence urban areas, as defined by the DHS.
Cost-share information: Most grantees under the HSGP are not required to provide a cash or in-kind match for funds. However, nonprofit organizations that receive funds are required to match 25 percent of federal grant funds in cash or through in-kind related training. Under the infrastructure grant programs, the transit security program has no matching requirement, and the port security program allows grantees to meet the 25 percent matching requirement with in-kind contributions. The remainder of infrastructure programs have a 25 percent cost share requirement.