Steve Davis is President of All Hands Consulting, an emergency management firm focused on Comprehensive Emergency Management, Business Continuity, Homeland Security, and Disaster Recovery -- activities that share a common mission: they are all aimed at reducing the impact of disasters on our lives and our operations.
Why $400 Million Will Not Save Tier II UASIs
Yesterday’s blog provided a chart that shows how the Senate’s proposed FY 2012 Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) budget compared to
previous years. While the chart shows a
steep decline, you may think that $400 million is still a lot of money. It certainly is a lot of money, and it is
better than what the House bill would have provided, but the chart belies the
impact on what DHS calls “Tier II” UASI cities.
Today’s blog looks at the impact of the proposed funding
level on UASI cities.
The total number of UASI cities grew to 64 in FY 2010 but
saw a dramatic decrease in FY 2011 when it was cut down to 31 due to a 21%
decrease in funding. One can only guess
at this point how many FY 2012 UASIs there will be; but, an educated guess is
that there will be no more than ten or eleven.
Eleven is the current number of Tier I cities, while ten is a number
that has been thrown around by both legislators and grants managers.
The Tier I cities have historically received the “Lion’s
Share” of the UASI funding based on a DHS formula that allocated the majority
of the funding to these high-risk and heavily populated regions. With less
money available, and a desire to keep funding the most high-risk cities, one
can assume that only the top cities will be funded in 2012.
By The Numbers
In round numbers, the Senate’s proposed 2012 UASI allocation
is 40% less than FY 2011 and only half of the FY 2010 funding amount. Due to
the funding curve, where smaller, lower risk cities get smaller amounts, you
need to drop a lot of smaller cities to maintain funding for the larger higher
risk cities. The 2011 awards dropped 33 of the smaller cities, many of them
relatively large cites like Kansas City.
Assuming that the strategy will be to keep as much funding
going to the top ten cities, the following chart demonstrates the impact on the
other larger high-risk cities. The top
ten, if funded, would share funding which totals only 79% of their current
funding levels. While these cities would see significantly reduced funding, all
of the other cities would be dropped off the list. This means that 54 previously funded cities
would be dropped. The largest of these is Miami, while Boston is currently
ranked higher based on Risk.
Theoretical 2012 UASI Allocations Compared to Previous Years
Of course, this is all conjecture. It could end up that the
final budget is more or less. The number
of cities could be less; DHS could opt to go back to the original seven UASI I
cities that were the first funded after 9/11. If the House prevails, homeland security
funding will be a block grant. If the FEMA disaster funding impacts the budget,
as many think it will, the budget could be cut further. The states are
currently proposing grant reforms which may totally change the funding process.
The future is uncertain to say the least.
But for now, based on what the Senate Appropriations Committee
is voting on today, it seems safe to assume that only seven to eleven UASIs
will be funded in 2012.
The EOC needs an effective information management system to work.
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS DURING A DISASTER The following problems are often seen at all EOC levels:
Activation takes place after the fact resulting in a “catch up” process.Lack of good and complete information at the beginning.Possible loss or degraded communications capability.Possible loss or late arrival of key, trained staff.Often a shortfall of resources available to meet demands.Lack of inter-agency coordination. Information management is…
THIRA is the acronym for a "Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment."While many people do not really understand the difference between the terms threat, hazard, and risk (that can be the subject of another piece) I’m sure most of our readers are familiar with Threat Assessments and/or Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRAs).The term THIRA may be something new but the concept is not.The reason that it is a term of some importance is that the term was included in the FY2011 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) guidance and it is causing a concern for some grantees.The HSGP guidance says that: "In order to qualify for FY 2011 funding, all grantees shall develop and maintain a THIRA." While good folks at DHS/FEMA are developing a Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) supplement that will aid in the conduct of these and other risk assessments, there is no specific guidance out about how to do a THIRA that meets the requirements of the grant. The…