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Boston awarded $18 million in homeland security funding

April 2, 2015

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Emergency Management

The grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was awarded through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant program. 

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston and the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) have received  $18 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant program. 

"I am proud of our City's strong relationship with the Department of Homeland Security," said Mayor Walsh.  "I'm grateful for Secretary Johnson's continued support of our City, as well as for the support of our delegation -- particularly Senators Warren and Markey, and Congressmen Lynch and Capuano – during this process. The City of Boston is a strong community and this funding is critical to ensuring long term resiliency.”

The Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is the agency responsible for ensuring the City has plans to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters. During emergencies OEM operates the City’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) where City agencies coordinate response and share information critical to managing the incident. OEM is also charged with managing homeland security funding for the MBHSR.  

 “Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, and this funding allows us to enhance the capabilities of our first responders, ensuring they are ready for any potential emergency or disaster." said Rene Fielding, OEM Director. "The program will also support our efforts to work with Boston’s many communities in preparing for emergencies.”

Past funding has supported initiatives in communications interoperability by providing the capability to allow first responders to clearly and seamlessly communicate with one another and in running Urban Shield Boston, the largest first responder exercise conducted in New England and the cornerstone of the MBHSR training and exercise program. Urban Shield Boston was last held in May 2014 and involved approximately 2,000 emergency response personnel from more than 50 local, state and federal agencies. The goal of Urban Shield is to test and evaluate specific public safety capabilities that have been developed, or enhanced, with the investment of funds received through the UASI grant program.

UASI program funding  addresses the unique multi-disciplinary planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assists them in building capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism. The City of Boston was designated as an UASI site in 2003. Boston is a part of the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) along with eight surrounding jurisdictions: Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop.

To receive emergency notifications from OEM by phone, email, or text, sign up for an AlertBoston account online.  To learn more about the Office of Emergency Management, visit their website, or follow @oemboston on Twitter.