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Grants Overview


Photo of pile of moneyHSEMD's Chief Source of Emergency Preparedness Grant Funding

Through distribution of Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) grant funds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enhances the ability of states, local and tribal jurisdictions, and other regional authorities in the preparation, prevention, and response to terrorist attacks and other disasters. States and local jurisdictions can use grants for planning, equipment, training and exercise needs.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security—Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emegency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) grants help state and local entities prepare for, prevent, mitigate, and respond to manmade or natural disasters. Eligible sub-grantees are Iowa's county emergency management agencies.


Funding in Recent Years

Since Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2003 Iowa has seen over a 75 percent reduction in homeland security grant funding from the federal government. This trend is expected to continue. Federal funds are used to ensure local responders throughout the state are well exercised, trained and equipped to respond to any disaster or emergency. In addition, these funds are used so that local entities have up-to-date emergency plans and citizen education programs.

In contrast to the reduced funding for most homeland security grant programs, there has been a slight increase in funding from the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG). State and local emergency management agencies are dependent on these funds to do the important work of responding to both emergency management and homeland security disaster events. EMPG funds that are passed through HSEMD to local agencies cover on average 25 percent of local needs. While the state and local emergency management agencies are grateful for the funding, the reality is that more funding is critical to future responses.


Click on the tab for answers to frequently-asked questions about grants.

Grant FAQs


Q: What non-disaster grants does Iowa HSEMD manage?


  • Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP)
  • Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG)
  • Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant (HMEP)

Q: Who can apply for a grant under the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP)?

A: The State Administrative Agency (SAA) is the only entity eligible to apply to FEMA for funding in any of the above grant programs. Iowa HSEMD is the State Administrative Agency in Iowa.

Q: I am an elected official from an Iowa community and would like to apply for funding. Am I eligible to apply for a grant from Iowa HSEMD?

A: It depends. Iowa HSEMD is required to "pass through" HSGP grant funds to first responders (grants help state and local entities prepare for, prevent, mitigate, and respond to manmade or natural disasters). HSGP grant applications must have a statewide focus. Eligible sub-grantees include municipalities, emergency management agencies, law enforcement agencies, special teams, fire departments, emergency medical services, hospitals, and other first responders.


EMPG funds are shared with county emergency management agencies.


HMEP funds go to Local Emergency Planning Commissions (LEPCs).


The most current U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) FEMA grants are listed on FEMA's website. All discretionary grants offered by 26 federal grant-making agencies can be found on

Q: I work for a local fire/police department. Am I eligible to apply for a grant through Iowa HSEMD?

A: You may qualify to apply for an HSGP grant through HSEMD (see previous), but your project must have a statewide focus. There are other funding opportunities outside of HSEMD available to local fire departments. Click here for information about the DHS-FEMA Fire Assistance Grants.


Law enforcement grants also generally do not pass through HSEMD, unless they have a statewide focus. Usually, law enforcement grants can be found through the U.S. Department of Justice and


Other sites that may offer law enforcement grant information include:



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