WASHINGTON, D.C -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced the availability of $165 million for state and local emergency management agencies for the current fiscal year.

The $165 million Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program is the only source of direct federal funding for state and local governments that can be used to provide basic emergency coordination and planning capabilities. The EMPG program provide states the flexibility to allocate funds according to risk vulnerabilities and to address the most urgent state and local needs in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. States will award funds to local governments. The money is being made available through the DHS Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, formerly known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Ohio counties must meet certain requirements to receive the grants and apply for EMPG funds from the Ohio State Emergency Management Agency. Counties must also make a financial contribution from the local level to match what is available at the state," said J.R. Thomas, director of Franklin County's Emergency Management Agency and president of the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Because each state's criteria differs for awarding EMPG funds, Thomas urged all county officials to "contact their respective state emergency management agency and request EMPG funds and inquire about the requirements for your state." National Association of Counties

Jim McKay, Editor  |  Editor