U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that Washington State will receive over $30m in federal Homeland Security Grant funding made possible through the Fiscal Year 2009 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The money will be used to help Washington state communities pay for emergency equipment, strengthen border security, improve their emergency coordination efforts, and prepare for a regional catastrophe.
“I worked hard to ensure that Congress maintained its commitment to our local police, firefighters, and emergency managers,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Our state’s first responders face new challenges, as well as familiar existing threats. And this funding will allow them to invest in the resources they need to protect Washington state’s families.”
Washington state funding levels for 2009 in three major Homeland Security Grant programs are as follows (total $30,641,775):
State Homeland Security Grant Program – $18,190,000
The State Homeland Security Grant is administered by the State of Washington and distributed to every county in the state to plan and train for emergency situations. Senator Murray has repeatedly heard from first responders following our state’s recent Presidentially-declared disasters how they relied on these grant funds to plan and train for emergencies.
Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) - $11,030,900
UASI grants are available to select high-threat, high-density urban areas to specifically address the threat of terrorist activity. This funding will assist first responders in the Puget Sound region, while first responders in Vancouver, Washington will benefit from a separate $7 million grant to the Portland, Oregon UASI area.
Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program - $1,420,875
This grant program is intended to enhance incident preparedness and planning for catastrophic events that could affect an entire region, such as the eruption of Mt. Rainier or a major earthquake in the Puget Sound. These types of events will quickly overwhelm the emergency capabilities of any city or county, and requires a coordinated regional response to effectively manage the emergency response.