4/02/2015 — 

PROVIDENCE, RI – In an effort to enhance public safety and strengthen Rhode Island’s emergency preparedness, response, and recovery initiatives, Rhode Island's Congressional Delegation and Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced the state will receive a total of $7,046,001 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Emergency Management Performance Grant Program (EMPG). 

These federal funds, which will be administered by the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), are targeted to help Rhode Island government agencies and organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from regional and national emergencies, disasters, and mass-casualty events, in addition to providing for enhanced training and the purchase of essential equipment.  This funding comes as the result of the delegation’s efforts last month to pass a DHS appropriations without ‘poison pill’ immigration language advanced by Congressional Republicans.

“This is a smart investment in enhancing the state’s emergency response capabilities.  Events like Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings are stark reminders that we need well-trained first responders and a well-coordinated emergency response.  I am pleased to help deliver these federal funds to enhance the capabilities of RIEMA and other emergency workers.  It is critical that we provide our first-responders with the resources they need to adequately prepare for disasters and hazards," said Senator Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“After fighting through Republican threats to cut off funding for the Department of Homeland Security earlier this year, it’s a relief to see this funding come through for Rhode Island,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “This winter’s extreme snow showed the importance of being prepared for unexpected emergencies, and this funding will help ensure that our state agencies have the resources they need to respond to future events – from natural disasters to acts of terrorism.”

“Weather events and natural disasters require our immediate response, which is possible only through appropriate planning and training for both our first responders and state and local officials,” said Congressman Langevin. “These funds prioritize the safety of Rhode Islanders and our essential resources, ensuring our state is ready for action in the event of an emergency of any kind.”

“Time and again, we have seen the importance of making sure that emergency personnel are equipped to respond immediately to disaster situations,” said Congressman Cicilline. “I am encouraged that these significant Federal funds will provide the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency with new resources to plan and prepare for emergency.”

“Keeping Rhode Islanders safe is one of my most important jobs as Governor and I take this responsibility very seriously,” said Governor Raimondo. “I am grateful to our Congressional Delegation for securing these funds that will help support Rhode Island’s emergency service personnel in performing their vital duties. This past winter has shown us how essential a well-coordinated, prepared and immediate response is when Rhode Islanders are in need. These funds bring a much-needed boost to those on the front lines ensuring our state’s safety.”  

The specific grants Rhode Island will receive include:

State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) Funding: $3,734,500

This program provides support for the implementation of state homeland security risk-driven strategies to address identified planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.

Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG): $3,311,501

This funding provides grants for emergency preparedness to assist state and local governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities.  Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the EMPG Program provides necessary direction, coordination, and guidance, and assistance, so that a comprehensive emergency preparedness system exists for all hazards.

Now that the funds have been allocated, RIEMA will apply to FEMA to draw down the money.  For more information about EMPG and HSGP, visit FEMAs website: http://www.fema.gov/grants

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