Information Technology (IT) and communications systems are vulnerable to damage from natural hazards, accidents, and acts of terrorism and play an essential part in the effectiveness of response operations. Most of the National Planning Scenarios contemplate the loss of, or significant damage to, IT and communications systems. Following authorization in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the NET Guard program concept was developed through a DHS scoping initiative and work group involving stakeholders and potential partners including state and local government representatives, emergency managers, potential private sector partners and DHS Divisions. DHS/FEMA will use the NET Guard Pilot Programs to test and further evaluate and develop the program concept. The NET Guard Program is envisioned as a means to provide emergency, temporary reconstitution of IT and communications systems, or installation of emergency, temporary IT and communications systems, for governmental entities, private non-profit entities performing governmental functions, and private sector entities providing essential services. The NET Guard Program is also envisioned as a means to surge additional IT and communications resources into impacted areas to assist entities with emergency IT and communications system activities.
This Program is authorized by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296), Section 224, under which the Secretary of Homeland Security may "establish a national technology guard, to be known as 'NET Guard', comprised of local teams of volunteers with expertise in relevant areas of science and technology, to assist local communities to respond and recover from attacks on information systems and communications networks."
Funding is provided through the Fiscal Year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161).
A total of $80,000 is available for each pilot jurisdiction and four pilot grants will be awarded. Funding will be provided in the form of a Cooperative Agreement directly to the selected applicants.
As the basis for determining that applicants have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities required to conduct this pilot testing and to be eligible to apply under this solicitation, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
Applicants must be the local government entity responsible for emergency management including development of the Emergency Operations Plan, e.g. the Office of Emergency Management and/or Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
Applicants must be a jurisdiction located in one of the urban areas designated by the 2008 DHS Urban Area Security Initiatives (UASI).
Applicants must have a Citizen Corps Council and program activity managed through the jurisdiction's Office of Emergency Management or local elected leadership.
Applicants must have three or more Citizen Corps Partner Programs sponsored by their government jurisdiction (e.g., Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Fire Corps, Neighborhood Watch/USAonWatch, and Volunteers in Police Service).
Applicants must have deployed jurisdiction resources through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
Applicants must have used private for profit entity resources provided on a voluntary basis in a disaster response or recovery activity.
Applicants must have the signed agreement of participation by the jurisdiction's office responsible for disaster-related communications and IT functions i.e. lead office for ESF #2
FY 2008 Citizen Corps Program National Emergency Technology Guard (NET Guard) Pilot Program Guidance and Application Kit (PDF 187KB)