Friday, December 28, 2007

News: Governor funds TENS for needy counties

CALIFORNIA COUNTIES WITHOUT EMERGENCY TELEPHONE WARNING SYSTEMS may apply for funding January 31

28 December 2007

Governor Schwarzenegger today announced that he is setting aside $2 million from the State’s share of fiscal year 2007 Federal Department of Homeland Security grant funds for counties without telephone emergency notification systems to purchase and install them.

By prioritizing federal grant funding for programs similar to the “reverse 9-1-1″ system used in San Diego during the recent firestorm to warn residents, local officials will help implement a statewide alert and warning initiative while improving local emergency response capabilities.

Counties will be able to apply for grant funding at ohs.ca.gov starting on January 31, 2008.

“We must remain vigilant in ensuring we’re doing everything possible to prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

“The ability of local and state agencies to provide timely and accurate information to the public about threats and safety instructions before, during and immediately after emergencies is a top priority for my administration. A warning system that is effective, integrated and comprehensive is critical to saving lives.”

The Governor’s Offices’ of Homeland Security (OHS) and Emergency Services (OES) and other state agencies are working to enhance efforts to develop a statewide alert system.

This funding allocation is designed to work towards that goal. It is also part of the State’s Metrics Program to identify, strengthen and build on our public safety capabilities.

“We always are working on assessing needs and finding grant sources to satisfy those needs. These grant funds will go a long way toward implementing systems that will protect the public in a variety of emergencies and also help our first responders do their jobs more safely and efficiently,” said OHS Director Matt Bettenhausen.

“Coordination among local, state and federal agencies in issuing alerts and warnings is as critical as it is in coordinating fire, law enforcement and other resources,” said OES Director Henry Renteria.

Under the allocation, the funding will be available to thirteen counties currently without telephone emergency notification systems.

With these funds, the thirteen counties may purchase and install telephone emergency notification systems as well as pay for the first two years of maintenance of the systems.

The following thirteen counties do not have telephone emergency notification systems and will be eligible for the $2 million in funds: Colusa, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Mendocino, Plumas, San Benito, San Joaquin, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity and Tulare.

To date, OES and OHS have allocated billions of funds to California ’s first responder entities to assist with the prevention of, mitigation against, preparedness for, and response to natural, human caused, and technological disasters.

Source: Article

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