FEMA to help fund emergency ops centers

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will award $14.5 million in grants through a new program to fund the construction of 22 emergency operations centers nationwide.

Under the fiscal 2008 Emergency Operations Centers Grant Program, FEMA said it awarded $1 million construction grants to operations centers in the District of Columbia, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, according to an announcement. An additional 14 centers will receive smaller grants.

The money may be spent on hardware and equipment for information technology, explosive device mitigation, cybersecurity, interoperable communications, power and logistical support. It also may be put toward physical security and prevention and response involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive device materials.

The program is meant to support "flexible, sustainable, secure and interoperable" centers for states, localities and tribes, the announcement said.

The program funds are to be used for emergency operations center construction projects over the next three years, up to $1 million for new construction or $250,000 for a renovation.

In addition, FEMA said it was distributing $50 million to states in previously announced awards for emergency communications projects.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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