National resiliency initiatives announced

The White House has announced new resiliency initiatives based on the findings of the 2016 National Preparedness Report, released in March by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The report identified vulnerabilities and areas for improvement in the country’s ability to respond to and recover from natural disasters, technological hazards, acts of terrorism and other threats.

Federal agencies are declaring new actions to help build the capacity of state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector and nonprofit agencies to recover from future disasters.

September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month

The Economic Recovery Training For Emergency Management and Economic Development Practitioners program will provide $1,506,000 for state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and economic development professionals to identify and undertake economic recovery and resiliency initiatives. The program is Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The Leaders in Business Community Resilience initiative, administered by FEMA, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide guidance for state-level engagement with the private sector. The initiative creates a platform for businesses to be recognized for building community resilience. FEMA, SBA and Commerce will convene events across the country over the next year to support local efforts to create preparedness partnerships between the private and public sectors.

The Built Environment Resilience Gateway has been added to the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit by the National Institute of Standards and Technology-sponsored Community Resilience Standards Panel, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service. The gateway is dedicated to community resilience measures for urban communities and infrastructure. Areas of focus include buildings and structures, disaster planning, energy, water and wastewater, social equity, planning and land use, transportation, communications and related topics.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s initiative to Enhance Situational Awareness of Energy System Status enhances the real-time monitoring and predictive capabilities of the Environment for Analysis of Geo-Located Energy Information (EAGLE-I) system.  EAGLE-I will become the authoritative source supporting state and local agencies to track the status of energy systems nationwide. The system will help target and mobilize public and private sector resources during post-incident recovery.

DHS will establish a National Network of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Resources. The network will consist of trained  infrastructure recovery and resilience experts who can provide assistance to communities in disaster-impacted areas. The network will assist with rebuilding following the August flooding in Louisiana and with future events upon request. Contact for more information.

FEMA has launched the Community Recovery Resource Portal. The portal will help community leaders access post-disaster recovery resources.

The Support Homeless Persons in Pre-Disaster Planning, Response and Recovery program, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, offers a toolkit focused on the needs of homeless populations before, during and after disasters.

New training to help cultural institutions in disaster preparedness is also available from the Heritage Emergency National Task Force and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A webinar series will provide training and guidance to emergency managers and cultural stewards on how to strengthen disaster preparedness in the cultural community.

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USDA funds water infrastructure for 168 towns

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $283 million in funding for water and waste infrastructure for 168 small towns as part of the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The program provides assistance and financing to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems for communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

“Strong infrastructure is critical to keeping America’s communities of all sizes thriving, and USDA is proud to partner with the National Rural Water Association to help improve the livelihood of our smallest towns by providing access to reliable water and wastewater systems,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Projects like these are critical to the economy, health and future of rural America, and today 19 million residents now have improved water and wastewater services in their communities thanks to investments USDA has made since 2009.”

Vermont’s Town of Williamstown will receive an $884,000 loan and $1,277,000 grant to upgrade the town’s water treatment facility. The funds will be used to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

The town of Orleans, N.Y., will receive a $500,000 grant. The grant will be added to state funds to help install a water line to provide clean drinking water to residential wells contaminated by salt.

In Florida, Jacob City will receive a $30,000 USDA technical assistance grant to study possible improvements to the city water system. The city will use the funds to pay for an engineering report to evaluate the system

The largest loan announced under the program will go to the city of Monticello, Ill. It will receive a $14.3 million USDA loan to construct a wastewater treatment plant. The funding will help the city expand its sewage capacity for its 5,500 residents and comply with environmental regulations.

One of the program recipients, the Mt. Olive Water Association in Mississippi, was one of the first applicants to use Rural Development’s new online application system, RD Apply. The new process allows applications to be submitted anywhere in the country via the internet.  Mt. Olive will receive a $297,000 loan and a $238,000 grant for a water storage tank, fire hydrants and a generator.

Click here for a full list of funded projects.

Want to read more stories like this one? Check out the most recent editions of Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider. SPI’s government contracting consultants assist firms of all types in selling to governmentContact them today.