ABCs OF THE EMPG (EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE GRANT) PROGRAM
Many communities in Texas rely on grant funds to help keep their emergency management programs afloat. The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) is a federal grant that provides funding to assist state and local governments in developing and carrying out emergency management programs.
Approximately 56 states and territories participate in the federal EMPG program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). When Texas receives its allocated EMPG funds, it is one of the few states that will pass a portion of those funds through to local jurisdictions to reimburse them for emergency management program expenses. For local governments, the state of Texas requires a 50 percent match for every federal dollar of EMPG funding provided.
In fiscal year 2010, a total of 115 jurisdictions in Texas were approved to receive more than $5 million dollars from the EMPG program.
Lisa Resendez, a Planner with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, oversees the EMPG program for the state. She said there are several recommendations for jurisdictions to consider when submitting their applications for EMPG funds.
“Before applying, it is strongly recommended that all local jurisdictions read and familiarize themselves with the current year’s Local Emergency Management Performance Grant Guide that is posted on the Texas Division of Emergency Management Web site,” said Resendez. “Eligible jurisdictions must have legally established city or county emergency management programs; must be the designated primary jurisdiction in accordance with Chapter 418 of the Government Code; and must legally adopt the National Incident Management System.”
Resendez said it is also imperative that jurisdictions meet the requirements and task deadlines for this program. “Jurisdictions must very carefully read the Local Emergency Management Performance Grant Guide in order to complete and submit a successful application. The guide will give each jurisdiction detailed instructions of what is required, as well as sample forms to review.”
With a state as large as Texas, different communities have different needs. The EMPG allows jurisdictions to pay for certain resources, supplies or programs for their emergency management program that the jurisdiction might otherwise go without. For example, Resendez said EMPG funds have enabled local governments to provide salary and benefits for an Emergency Management Coordinator position they would otherwise not have been able to fund.
TDEM will begin accepting applications for FY 2012 EMPG funds later this year. To receive more information, send an email, listing EMPG in the subject line, to TDEM.PLANS@dps.texas.gov
Visit the following websites for more information on the EMPG program: