In the briefest statement possible, let us simply say that if your 2009 AFG grant application specified P25 interoperable equipment, that is exactly what you are expected to purchase! To proceed on the advice of those who encourage you to do otherwise could result in some really unpleasant results. Just remember - it is not your communications supplier that FEMA looks to for grant compliance. It is the one receiving the grant! The granting of federal funding for communications is predicated on compliance with SAFECOM guidance. There are not other standards - just SAFECOM! For the current guidance, please visit www.info4u.us/SAFECOM-2010.pdf.
Having said that, you should know that it is entirely possible that you CAN get P25 equipment and still stay within your budget. Additional information on this subject is available at www.info4u.us/WhyDigital.pdf. We we would be remiss if we did not mention that there are some excellent alternatives to P25 digital for those who will not be using federal funds for communications equipment purchases. One of the better ones is the IDAS technology by ICOM. Additional information is available at www.info4u.us/idas4u.pdf.