My latest misfire relates to a campaign to assist county and municipal agencies as well as hospitals in obtaining funds for updating existing disaster mitigation projects. I had wrongfully concluded that plan update applications could be submitted to County EMA directors on or before June 6, 2014. The actual date was before June 1, and I was a little off on my facts (actually, WAY off!). That's the bad news. There is also some good news!
Those of you who made the effort to get the information to your County EMA Director in a timely manner may still be in the game. The Catch-22 is that your project had to be a part of the County project, and applications by County EMA Directors was supposed to be filed with State EMA by June 1. Whether there is any latitude in this policy or not is unknown to me and at this point I am not inclined to speculate.
What I do know, as the result of input provided by an informed County EMA associate, is that the likelihood of funds being available in the October/November time frame are very good. The reason being that in the past, a Presidential Proclamation for disaster mitigation plan updates generally follows periods of major disasters by six months. Since our tornado disasters typically occur in April, that means that a proclamation could occur as early as mid October to November. At that time, County EMAs will be able to request funding for UPDATING OF EXISTING DISASTER MITIGATION PLANS. That means that you have to be a participant in the county plan, whether you are a county agency, municipality, or emergency medical provider.
So, for those of you who worked with us in defining your projects can be first in line when notified of the open application period by EMA. That means the war has not been lost, only the battle. If you are not a participant in your county plan, you need to become a part of that plan so that you are ready to apply in March of 2015 to become a member and apply for one or more approved projects which could include our HelpAlert, Sparkgap and TownCrier programs.
For those of you who chose to work with us - Thank you! We will be there for you at the proper time (and sometimes, even BEFORE the proper time!). For those that did not respond to our invitation to work with us, that invitation is still extended. Our job is helping you do yours a little better!
At your service!