DHS Allots Preparedness Grants to Public Transit, Amtrak

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced on Aug. 17 $550 million in final allocations for seven Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) competitive preparedness grant programs. These allocations, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says, together with the almost $1.5 billion in non-competitive grand funding announced earlier this year, total more than $2 billion in FY22 to help prepare the nation against manmade threats and natural disasters.

Of the money allotted, $93 million will be provided to owners and operators of public transit systems and $10 million will be provided to Amtrak to “protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.”

According to DHS, the grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, nonprofit agencies and the private sector to build and sustain capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other disasters. The total amount for each grant program is set by Congress and the allocations are made by the Secretary.

“As the threats to the homeland evolve, so too must the grant programs intended to prepare communities for those threats,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “This year, DHS will prioritize six critical areas, including cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, intelligence and information sharing, domestic violent extremism, community preparedness and resilience, and election security. These grants will help to improve the nation’s readiness in preparing, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.”

Grant recipients under the State Homeland Security Program and Urban Area Security Initiative will be required, DHS says, to dedicate a minimum of 30% of their awards across these six priority areas. Twelve percent is required through minimum spend amounts for four priority areas, and recipients have flexibility on how to allocate the remaining 18% across the six priority areas: cybersecurity (no minimum spend); soft target and crowded places (3%); information and intelligence sharing (3%); domestic violent extremism (3%); community preparedness and resilience (3%); and election security (no minimum spend). After extensive consultation with grantees leading up to this announcement, DHS says it is focused on balancing the need to invest in high priority areas with giving jurisdictions the flexibility to make prioritization decisions based on their own assessments of their needs.

Click here for a full list of the Preparedness Grant Program Allocations for FY22.

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