SPRINGFIELD – Local emergency operations centers (EOCs) are critical to effective response during disasters, and applications are now available for a federal program that provides grants to help local emergency management agencies build new EOCs or make needed renovations to existing facilities. Officials from the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) are encouraging local emergency managers throughout Illinois to submit an application for the funding.
“I strongly encourage every local emergency management agency in Illinois to consider applying for a grant through this program,” said IEMA Director Andrew Velasquez III, who also serves as the state’s Homeland Security Adviser. “A well-designed, fully-functional local EOC is essential not only for local emergencies, but also for large-scale disasters that require coordination between local, state and federal responders.”
Velasquez said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced that more than $10 million in competitive EOC grants will be available nationwide in 2010. The EOC grants can be used for design, construction and renovation costs, as well as expenses related to hardening of the structure to resist natural and man-made hazards and the hardening of systems to better resist damage and contamination from natural and man-made events.
Information about the grants, including the application, is available on the ITTF website at http://www.ready.illinois.gov/ittf/grants. Grant applications must be submitted to the ITTF by Jan. 15, 2010. The state will review the applications and forward them to FEMA by Feb. 12, 2010. Awards will be made on or before Sept. 30, 2010.
Over the past two years, four Illinois EOC projects have received grants for EOC construction or renovations, including LaSalle, Madison and Winnebago counties and Skokie.