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 Lincoln D. Chafee today announced the state will receive a total of $7,047,806 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and the 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 is a critical investment in the safety of our communities. I am pleased to help deliver these federal funds to enhance the emergency response capabilities of RIEMA and our first responders and help them prepare for disasters and hazards. Events like Hurricane Sandy and last year's Boston Marathon bombing are reminders that disasters can strike at any moment, and so, it's important for our first responders to be prepared and well equipped," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who helped boost funding for the EMPG and SHSP programs in the fiscal year 2014 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill.
"Protecting citizens from natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies is one of the most important functions of our government," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "I'm proud to announce this federal funding, which will help Rhode Island communities better prepare for unexpected emergencies."
"Significant weather events are unfortunately becoming a more frequent occurrence, due in part to the negative effects of climate change," said Congressman Jim Langevin. "When dealing with natural disasters and other emergency situations, we need to be proactive. These funds will help ensure that our state, municipalities, and our first responders are all educated, prepared and armed with the appropriate resources in order to effectively respond to an emergency. The safety of Rhode Islanders depends on it."
"Rhode Island's emergency responders work hard to help our state prevent, respond to, and recover from emergency situations and natural disasters, and this critical funding will support their important efforts," said Congressman David Cicilline. "I congratulate the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency on securing these grants and look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to deliver federal funds that enhance Rhode Island's security and preparedness."
"I applaud the entire congressional delegation for its help in bringing these federal funds to our local emergency responders across the state," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "Working together with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), these responders protect all Rhode Islanders and ensure that the state's communication network remains a viable resource before, during and after an emergency."