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Preparedness Grants Case Studies

FEMA conducts grant effectiveness case studies to demonstrate how states and urban areas across the country use a mix of homeland security non-disaster grant programs to improve preparedness. FEMA chose case study locations to ensure geographic diversity and to link grant investments with recent events.

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In September 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a preparedness grants effectiveness virtual case study with members of the Jersey City–Newark, New Jersey Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI; Jersey City–Newark). The purpose of the study was to understand the role of FEMA preparedness grants on the region’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
In July 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a preparedness grants and FEMA Integration Team (FIT) effectiveness virtual case study with the State of Connecticut. The purpose of the study was to understand the role of FEMA preparedness grants and FITs in the state’s coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response.
In 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study in Florida to understand the state’s use of grant funds to increase its ability to respond to, recover from, and mitigate the impacts of natural and man-made disasters and real-world events. Specifically, FEMA examined how Florida invested Federal, state, and local funds to address lessons learned from previous disasters to close capability gaps, and whether these investments resulted in improved preparedness ahead of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
In 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study of the Las Vegas urban area to understand how the state and local jurisdictions use preparedness grants to increase their emergency preparedness and counterterrorism capabilities. Specifically, FEMA examined how the Las Vegas urban area used grant funds to close capability gaps and examined the impact that those investments had on the area’s response to the October 1, 2017, incident (1 October) at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
In 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study in Texas to understand Texas’ use of grant funds to increase its ability to respond to, recover from, and mitigate disaster impacts. Specifically, FEMA examined how Texas made investments using Federal, state, and local funds to address lessons learned from previous disasters by closing capability gaps and whether these investments resulted in improved preparedness ahead of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
In August 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority) to understand how the Port Authority used grant funds to increase its ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other human threats. Specifically, FEMA examined how the Port Authority made investments using Federal, state, and local dollars to address lessons learned from prior terror plots and attacks to close capability gaps and to determine whether these investments resulted in increased preparedness for future terror attacks.
In 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study of the Las Vegas urban area to understand how the state and local jurisdictions use preparedness grants to increase their emergency preparedness and counterterrorism capabilities. Specifically, FEMA examined how the Las Vegas urban area used grant funds to close capability gaps and examined the impact that those investments had on the area’s response to the October 1, 2017, incident (1 October) at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
In 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to understand how the Tribe uses grant funds to increase its emergency management capabilities for both all-hazards response and preventing terrorist attacks.
Since 2004, Washington State Homeland Security Region 9 has prioritized investments in interoperable radio communications for all first responders, regardless of discipline. Regional partners collaborated to establish an interoperable communications system with increased coverage that has improved incident response across all levels of government for the region.
Washington State’s Pacific coast faces the threat of large-scale earthquakes and tsunamis. To mitigate the risk, Washington is providing technical assistance to cities, counties, and tribes for construction of the Nation’s first vertical evacuation structures capable of withstanding 9.0+ magnitude earthquakes and 30-foot waves. The project provides residents and visitors in coastal population centers a means of seeking safety without having to travel considerable distance to natural high ground.
The Seattle Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) established Northwest Regional Aviation (NWRA)—an aviation consortium that protects the Puget Sound area from terrorism and responds to large-scale disasters. The NWRA saved 12 survivors during the first three hours of the Snohomish County mudslide on March 22, 2014.
Over 18 years, the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission (SETRPC) implemented an interoperable 800-megahertz (MHz) radio system. During Hurricane Harvey, local communities maintained clear and consistent communication as a result of these radio system improvements, even though floodwaters physically isolated them.
During Hurricane Harvey, flooding at the Arkema Chemical Plant caused trailers to leak dangerous chemicals. The Houston Police Department used a helicopter equipped with night vision video capabilities and data downlink software to reveal an unstable condition as chemicals began to react. This provided first responders real-time, detailed visual information that possibly saved the lives of sixteen responders who would have otherwise entered a dangerous situation.
The City of Houston, Harris County and Montgomery County built a fully interoperable emergency management communication network. Montgomery County’s network was built independently of the Houston/Harris County network, and all three governments coordinated to ensure that networks were interoperable and continue to rely on one another for increased operational effectiveness.
This Texas-funded innovative program trains jurisdictions to address disaster-related financial topics such as how to track time and labor, overtime charges, and travel cost processing. Local jurisdictions reported better capabilities in handling Hurricane Harvey- related finances after completing the training.
Oklahoma developed two programs—Safe Schools 101 and the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI)—to protect students from natural and manmade hazards. Together, these programs protect schools from the dangers of tornadoes and enhance school security and response plans.
Oklahoma created the Regional Response System (RRS)—a collection of specialized units and equipment—to provide all-hazards response throughout the state within two hours of an incident. RRS units have responded to dozens of incidents, including the May 20, 2013 tornado near Oklahoma City.
New York City (NYC) began monitoring individuals returning from countries affected by Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the fall of 2014, in response to a directive from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Using almost $1.7 million in Public Health Emergency Preparedness funds (including the EVD suplemental) and $3.5 million in Urban Areas Security Initiative funds, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) quickly adapted existing structures to stand up an active monitoring system.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first-ever case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the United States, New York City (NYC) quickly acted to educate the public about EVD and its associated risks. In support of this effort, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) deployed community outreach teams to distribute informational materials and engage the public in discussions about EVD. DOHMH distributed cards (available in nine languages) with information about EVD risks and transmission (DOHMH).
Following the March 2014 outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease(EVD) in West Africa, New York City (NYC) agencies began developing plans and protocols for handling potential EVD cases. As part of this effort, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) collaborated with city hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to develop Bio Isolation Transfer (BIT) cards—documents embodying standard operating procedures (SOPs) for safely transporting and handing off individuals suspected of having contracted EVD (known as “persons under investigation,” or PUIs).
Last updated January 5, 2021