RI Nets $7.5 Million in Security Grants to Improve Emergency Response & Disaster Preparedness

Aug 6, 2019 Issues: Rhode Island

WASHINGTON, DC – Seeking to help Rhode Island’s emergency responders, their federal partners, and community organizations prevent and prepare for a range of crises and security challenges – from natural disasters to domestic terrorism – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that the state will receive $7,523,831 in federal national preparedness funds.

These federal funds, which are awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and will be administered by the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), are targeted to help Rhode Island government agencies and organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from regional and national emergencies, disasters, and mass-casualty events, in addition to providing for enhanced training and the purchase of essential equipment.  The funds may be used to help the state and local responders purchase new safety equipment and emergency power generators, or conduct rescue and public safety training to ensure first responders are prepared for a variety of situations.

“We must invest in the emergency response capabilities of every community.  Rhode Island can use these federal funds for equipment and training to improve our capacity to respond to all sorts of emergencies and disasters,” said Senator Reed.  “I commend RIEMA and all our first responders for the excellent work they do, and I am pleased to help deliver these federal funds to make our communities safer.”

“First responders put their lives on the line to protect others, and they ought to have the very best tools and training to do their jobs safely,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “These federal funds will help ensure that first responders at both the state and community levels are well prepared for any type of emergency.” 

“State and local first responders risk their lives to keep the rest of us safe, and they must have access to the resources necessary to carry out this critical work,” said Congressman Langevin, a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. “I am proud to have helped secure this federal funding alongside my delegation colleagues to support our first responders and ensure Rhode Island is prepared to respond when a disaster strikes.”

“This important funding is critical for ensuring public safety in Rhode Island,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Over the years, we’ve all seen the toll that natural disasters and other emergencies can take on our state. I’m pleased to help deliver these federal resources today.”

Specifically, Rhode Island will receive:

State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) Funding: $4,077,500

This program provides support for the implementation of state homeland security risk-driven strategies to address identified planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.

Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG): $3,296,331

This funding provides grants for emergency preparedness to assist state and local governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities.  Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the EMPG Program provides necessary direction, coordination, and guidance, and assistance, so that a comprehensive emergency preparedness system exists for all hazards.

Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP): $150,000

This program provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack.

As we approach September, which is recognized as Disaster Preparedness Month, individuals and families are encouraged to take time to think about their emergency preparedness, including what to do, where to go and who to contact in the event of a disaster or emergency.  FEMA has launched the Ready campaign to promote preparedness through public involvement, and more info can be found here: https://www.ready.gov