Local and state homeland security and emergency management officials in the National Capital
Region (NCR), representing the District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Maryland
Governor Martin O’Malley and Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell announced today how
they plan to spend $59 million in federal homeland security grant funds. This amount mirrors
the investment that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made in the NCR in
FY2010. The funding will be used to support projects designed to support mass transit, law
enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, health and medical, mass care and emergency
management needs in alignment with the NCR Homeland Security Strategic Plan.
In May, DHS announced how much money would be available to the NCR through the Urban
Areas Security Initiative Program (UASI). Some of the projects to be funded include:
• Chemical/Biological Sensors for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority:
The region will allocate money to maintain the equipment necessary to detect the release
of chemical and biological agents in Metro stations. These sensors, located in key stations
across the region, provide early warning of a chemical or biological attack.
• Bomb Squad Equipment: The region will maintain or replace expired equipment for the
nine, nationally accredited bomb squads found in the NCR. This includes bomb suits,
digital x-ray equipment, and electronic jammers to prevent the explosion of improvised
explosive devices (IEDs).
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• Medical Surge Capacity: The region will continue to fund a program that allows
emergency rooms (ERs) to track the real-time location of ambulances from every hospital
in the region. ERs also will be able to monitor the treatment capacities at every hospital.
This program will help the region’s 34 hospitals to better prepare and collaborate to
address and treat patients during a surge event.
• Information Sharing/Fusion Center Support: Funding will be focused on maintaining
an information sharing system that continues the region’s commitment to effective
information gathering, analysis and sharing throughout the four regional
Fusion/Intelligence Analysis Centers.
• Situational Awareness and Transportation Management Tool: The region will
develop an information sharing system designed to give emergency managers and other
preparedness and response partners a common, regional operating picture. This system
will synthesize data from the transportation, public health, and emergency management
systems to better inform situational awareness. The tool will assist with local decision
making and activities that will have regional implications to include coordinated
decisions on evacuations, shelter in place or other actions.
• Personal Preparedness: Support will be provided to Volunteer Centers and Citizen
Corps Councils throughout the region to allow for the recruitment, training and ongoing
engagement of volunteers who will assist with sharing the preparedness message to
communities at a grass roots level. To ensure ongoing, just-in-time alerting of residents
during emergencies or other events, the region will continue to fund the text alert systems
used to facilitate the sending of emergency alerts to cell phones, email accounts and
To ensure UASI monies are spent effectively and efficiently, the region channels this funding to
accomplishing goals set forth in its Homeland Security Strategic Plan. Projects are also
prioritized and reviewed by the homeland security and emergency management officials for the
District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, along with local city and county administrators.
Past UASI grants have increased the capacity of public safety officials to communicate across
jurisdictional boundaries by enhancing interoperable communications; provided the opportunity
for training and exercise of responders; driven the full development of regional plans designed to
address evacuation, mass care and continuity of operations planning needs; supported the webbased emergency operations center hardware and software needs; supported the emergency alerts and notifications systems; educated the public on disaster preparedness; assisted special needs populations to prepare for major emergencies; increased medical readiness; and equipped first responders to respond to all-hazards.
The NCR’s elected officials, emergency management, law enforcement, fire and public health
personnel, along with the nonprofit and private sectors, work together across the region’s
jurisdictional boundaries to improve the region’s overall resilience.