Nevada Seeks $37 Million in Homeland Security Funds

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

State officials are completing a study assessing Nevada's homeland security needs in hopes of qualifying for an estimated $37 million in federal funds this year.

"It's absolutely critical," state homeland security adviser Jerry Bussell said Thursday. "It's the document we must have in play. Not only to receive funds, but it's a roadmap on how we plan to protect Nevada."

The statewide study examines personnel, training and equipment levels of local agencies, said Frank Siracusa, chief of Nevada's division of emergency management.

The study, to be sent to the Office for Domestic Preparedness to meet a Jan. 31 deadline, is required of all states before they can receive federal homeland security funds this year, Siracusa said.

Officials discussed the Nevada Strategic Plan during a state Homeland Security Commission meeting Thursday in Las Vegas.

Besides a view of the state by the numbers, the study also will detail homeland security goals to be accomplished in coming years, officials said. Funding for the next three years will be based on the study, but there will be flexibility if other needs arise, Siracusa said.

Under federal guidelines at least 80 percent of homeland security funds must be distributed to local agencies, with up to 20 percent available for use by state agencies, Siracusa said.

Nevada already has qualified for four grant programs this year, including a $10.5 million grant earmarked for Clark County, home of the Las Vegas Strip.

If the state opts to use its 20 percent share, the funds must be used by state agencies operating in Clark County, Siracusa said.

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Threat Conditions and Associated Protective Measures

The world has changed since September 11, 2001. We remain a Nation at risk to terrorist attacks and will remain at risk for the foreseeable future. At all Threat Conditions, we must remain vigilant, prepared, and ready to deter terrorist attacks. The following Threat Conditions each represent an increasing risk of terrorist attacks. Beneath each Threat Condition are some suggested Protective Measures, recognizing that the heads of Federal departments and agencies are responsible for developing and implementing appropriate agency-specific Protective Measures:

Low Condition (Green)
This condition is declared when there is a low risk of terrorist attacks. Federal departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures they develop and implement:

  • Refining and exercising as appropriate preplanned Protective Measures;
  • Ensuring personnel receive proper training on the Homeland Security Advisory System and specific preplanned department or agency Protective Measures; and
  • Institutionalizing a process to assure that all facilities and regulated sectors are regularly assessed for vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks, and all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

    Guarded Condition (Blue)
    This condition is declared when there is a general risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in the previous Threat Condition, Federal departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:

  • Checking communications with designated emergency response or command locations;
  • Reviewing and updating emergency response procedures; and
  • Providing the public with any information that would strengthen its ability to act appropriately.

    Elevated Condition (Yellow)
    An Elevated Condition is declared when there is a significant risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in the previous Threat Conditions, Federal departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:

  • Increasing surveillance of critical locations;
  • Coordinating emergency plans as appropriate with nearby jurisdictions;
  • Assessing whether the precise characteristics of the threat require the further refinement of preplanned Protective Measures; and
  • Implementing, as appropriate, contingency and emergency response plans.

    High Condition (Orange)
    A High Condition is declared when there is a high risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in the previous Threat Conditions, Federal departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:

  • Coordinating necessary security efforts with Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies or any National Guard or other appropriate armed forces organizations;
  • Taking additional precautions at public events and possibly considering alternative venues or even cancellation;
  • Preparing to execute contingency procedures, such as moving to an alternate site or dispersing their workforce; and
  • Restricting threatened facility access to essential personnel only.

    Severe Condition (Red)
    A Severe Condition reflects a severe risk of terrorist attacks. Under most circumstances, the Protective Measures for a Severe Condition are not intended to be sustained for substantial periods of time. In addition to the Protective Measures in the previous Threat Conditions, Federal departments and agencies also should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:

  • Increasing or redirecting personnel to address critical emergency needs;
  • Assigning emergency response personnel and pre-positioning and mobilizing specially trained teams or resources;
  • Monitoring, redirecting, or constraining transportation systems; and
  • Closing public and government facilities.

    Source: www.whitehouse.gov (The White House Web site) contributed to this report.


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