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Federal grants to aid in emergency readiness

VALLERY BROWN Published: June 17, 2009
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday announced Federal Emergency Management Agency grants totaling more than $14 million for Oklahoma. But less than anticipated amounts could affect state budgets.

The grant money helps support state and municipal disaster preparedness, urban security and medical response efforts.

About $7.3 million will go to the state Homeland Security office, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Maj. Kerry Pettingill, director of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, said seven states saw an increase in funding this year. Oklahoma took a small hit.

Pettingill said 75 percent of his office’s operating budget is from federal funds, and funding was about $50,000 less than November projections.

He said this year’s budget will need to be reprioritized and likely will affect training and some nonessential items.

Also, the state’s Citizen Corps program will receive about $200,000 to support community and individual initiatives such as the Neighborhood Watch program. This amount also is slightly lower than in years past, Pettingill said.


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