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DHS Announces Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2020 Preparedness Grants

Today, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf announced the release of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Notices of Funding Opportunity for eight DHS preparedness grant programs totaling nearly $1.8 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations and the private sector, to improve the nation’s readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. The grants reflect the Department’s focus on funding for programs that address our nation’s immediate security needs and ensure public safety in our communities.

“The Department of Homeland Security must continually innovate, evolve and improve upon our preparedness efforts to ensure our state and local partners are resilient for both today and tomorrow. Our threat landscape has shifted dramatically over the past twenty years; from the large-scale attacks committed by foreign Islamist terrorists to the increased threat of domestic terrorism, attacks on soft targets – such as houses of worship, nightclubs, office buildings, and concert venues – and emerging threats such as cyberattacks and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles,” said DHS Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf.

“The paradigm has shifted. Today’s DHS programs must improve our readiness in preventing, preparing for, protecting against, and responding to today’s evolving threats. Our four priority areas, based on DHS’s assessment of recent attacks and other events and trend analysis from a variety of public and private sector sources, will help ensure the Department’s resources are applied most effectively. Importantly, we have also included recommendations from governors and mayors, as well as national security experts and emergency management associations, in order to enhance our security posture going forward,” he added.

The FY 2020 grant guidance will continue to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats. For FY 2020, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 32 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This represents Congressional intent to limit FY 2020 UASI funding to those Urban Areas that represent up to 85 percent of the nationwide risk, as stated in the Explanatory Statement accompanying the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2019 (Pub. L. No. 116-6).

Consistent with previous grant guidance, dedicated funding is provided for law enforcement and terrorism prevention throughout the country to prepare for, prevent and respond to pre-operational activity and other crimes that are precursors or indicators of terrorist activity.

DHS has identified four critical priority areas for attention in the FY 2020 grant cycle: cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, intelligence and information sharing, and emerging threats. Applicants will be required to submit investment justifications that address these priorities.  In addition, DHS will conduct an effectiveness review process to ensure grant funding is allocated to those projects the most effectively address these priorities.

The FY2020 grant guidance continues to focus on the Nation’s highest risk areas and national priorities. Grant recipients under the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) will be required to dedicate a minimum of 20 percent of awards to address four priority areas: cybersecurity (5 percent); soft target and crowded places (5 percent); information and intelligence sharing (5 percent); and emerging threats (5 percent)

As with previous years, new capabilities that are built using homeland security grant funding must be deployable if needed to support regional and national efforts. All capabilities being built or sustained must have a clear linkage to the core capabilities articulated in the National Preparedness Goal.

To allow enough time for FEMA to conduct an initial eligibility review of the application prior to the final submission deadline, applicants are strongly encouraged to initiate and complete the Standard Form 424 submission within Grants.gov no later than April 8, 2020, which is seven days prior to the end of the application period for all programs.

Preparedness Grant Program Allocations for Fiscal Year 2020:

Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG)—provides more than $355 million to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities.

Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP)—provides more than $1 billion for states and urban areas to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other threats.

  • State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)—provides $415 million to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based State Homeland Security Strategies to address capability targets. States are required to dedicate 25 percent of SHSP funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
  • Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)—provides $615 million to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 32 high-threat, high-density areas. States and Urban Areas are required to dedicate 25 percent of UASI funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
  • Operation Stonegarden (OPSG)—provides $90 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

Since the enactment of the 9/11 Act, FEMA has required states to ensure that at least 25 percent of the total funds awarded to them under SHSP and UASI are dedicated toward law enforcement terrorism prevention activities (LETPA). The total LETPA allocation can be satisfied from SHSP, UASI or both. In addition, states must obligate at least 80 percent of the funds awarded under SHSP and UASI to local or tribal units of government within 45 days of receipt of the funds.

Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP)—provides $15 million to eligible tribal nations to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.

Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)—provides $90 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. This year, $50 million is provided to nonprofits in UASI-designated urban areas, and $40 million is provided to nonprofits located in any state or territory.

Intercity Passenger Rail – Amtrak (IPR) Program—provides $10 million to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of the Amtrak rail system.

Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)—provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.

Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP)—provides $88 million to owners and operators of transit systems to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.

Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP)—provides $2 million to owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.

All preparedness Notices of Funding Opportunities can be found at www.grants.gov. Final submissions must be made through the Non-Disaster (ND) Grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov.

Further information on DHS’s preparedness grant programs is available at www.dhs.gov and http://www.fema.gov/grants.

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