Gov. Rick Perry announced Jan. 14 that 95 Texas cities and counties will receive a total of $11.7 million as part of the State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Domestic Preparedness.
TEEX serves as the state administrative agency for the DOJ program, which is designed to improve the response capability of emergency first responders in the event of terrorist use of a weapon of mass destruction.
“Public safety and security is a top priority for Texas, which is why we are among the best prepared states in the nation for any type of emergency, be it natural or man-made,” Perry said. “This federal assistance reinforces our preparedness on the local level by getting critical safety equipment into communities and counties across Texas.”
TEEX developed the Texas Assessment and Strategy Development Tool Kit, which was sent to the more than 1,400 county judges and incorporated municipality mayors statewide.
This first round of awards recognizes 95 of the counties and municipalities that completed and submitted the assessment before September 2001. Awards were made by a steering committee of appropriate state agencies and local emergency management officials. To become eligible for this first round of federal funding, jurisdictions were required to complete an assessment for threat, vulnerability, capabilities and needs.
Each of the 95 Texas counties and incorporated cities will now have an opportunity to select emergency equipment, including personal protective equipment; equipment to help detect and identify chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological hazards; decontamination equipment, including emergency antidotes and medications; and communications equipment.
Once all 95 jurisdictions submit their equipment selection information, TEEX will complete the state grant application process with the Department of Justice and will centrally procure the equipment. Equipment delivery is expected to begin in May.