14th Annual Homeland Security Conference dates set
FEB. 17, 2017 - The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has set the official dates for the 14th Annual Homeland Security Conference. The conference will be held Oct. 16-17, 2017, at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Ankeny DMACC campus.
More information about the conference, including details on how to register, will be available soon.
Iowa granted Presidential Disaster Declarations for August and September weather events
On Nov. 1, 2016, Gov. Terry E. Branstad received word that President Obama approved his request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 19 counties impacted by severe storms and flooding September 21-Oct. 3, 2016. The governor sent the request for a declaration on Oct. 21, 2016.
The counties included in the declaration are: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Howard, Linn, Mitchell, Winneshiek and Wright.
On Sept. 30, 2016, Gov. Branstad received word that President Obama approved his request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for eight counties impacted by severe storms in August. The governor sent the request for a declaration on Sept. 19, 2016.
The counties included in the declaration are: Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek.
The declarations by the President will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs, and designed to help public entities and select non-profits. Public Assistance funds may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools.
The Governor also received notification that the Presidential Disaster Declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, Iowa will be able to minimize the impact of future disasters by taking steps now to strengthen existing infrastructure.
Iowa has received 24 Presidential Disaster Declarations since March 2007.
HSEMD has received HMGP funding as a result of Presidential Disaster Declarations 4281 and 4289. Due to limited funding, applications will be considered from projects currently under development. However, HSEMD will continue to accept NOI (notice of interest) forms on a continuous basis until further notice. If you have any questions about a potential project or the application process, please contact one of our hazard mitigation staff contacts listed at the bottom of the hazard mitigation grants page.
Protect your "everyday"
Those who wish to do us harm are constantly plotting, planning for additional opportunities that may or may not come. So what are we as Americans–as Iowans–to do? How do we protect our "everyday?"
If you witness any type of suspicious activity, it is wise to report such activity to your local law enforcement agency. An alert public helps to keep our communities safe.
Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Unusual items or situations. A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package or some luggage is unattended, a window or door is open that is usually closed, or something else out of the ordinary.
- Eliciting information. A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance. Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (for example, with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
While some of these activities may be innocent, it’s ultimately up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. It is behavior, rather than appearance, that should be used in determining suspicious activity.
When reporting suspicious activity, remember to describe specifically what you observed, including:
- What or Who you saw
- When you saw it
- Where it occurred
- Why it is suspicious
It all boils down to one simple phrase: If you See Something, Say SomethingTM. Call 9-1-1, and notify your local law enforcement.
Police, security guards, and other officials cannot be everywhere, all the time. In the end it is up to all of us to protect our friends, our family, our neighbors, and the community as a whole.
State of Iowa receives $96.9 million HUD grant
Jan. 22, 2016 - Gov. Terry E. Branstad has been notified that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Iowa $96.9 million for disaster resilience projects.
Through the National Disaster Resilience Competition, HUD has awarded the State $96.9 million to conduct a program to help Iowa communities recover from prior disasters and improve their ability to recover more quickly from future disasters. The award comes after a two-phase competition, during which several state and local agencies collaborated to create a program called the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA). The IWA will accomplish six goals, including reducing flood risk, improving water quality, increasing resilience, engaging stakeholders, improving quality of life and health, and developing a program that can be replicated throughout the Midwest and the nation. The HUD National Disaster Resilience competition awarded nearly $1 billion to communities across the United States.
The agencies involved in the development of the HUD grant application are the office of Gov. Terry Branstad, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University, and the City of Dubuque.
IEDA will be administering the grant award, which will include ensuring timely and successful completion of the program, monitoring Community Development Block Grant compliance, and making all final financial decisions.
HSEMD will provide technical support to implement the IWA and coordinate disaster preparedness and hazard mitigation activities. HSEMD Director Mark Schouten said the Iowa Watershed Approach will be consistent with other statewide programs in Iowa to reduce flooding and improve water quality. These programs include the Iowa Flood Mitigation Program, which has awarded funding to 10 communities to increase flood protection and prevention, and the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, that will lead to a measurable reduction of nutrients in our waterways.
Other agencies involved in implementation of the IWA will include the Iowa Flood Center, which, along with the City of Dubuque, will use their technical expertise and stakeholder connections to lead technical and programmatic implementation.
Links and Documents
- HUD press release
- Grant award fact sheet
- Award Q&A
- Map of Iowa watersheds included in the grant award
- Grant submission support letter
- Final (Phase 2) Application Documents