(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has helped to secure $5,878,853 in federal grants for Washington state communities to help them develop emergency management plans.
"It seems like every week we see another example of the importance of effective, pre-incident emergency planning," said Senator Murray. "Whether it's the disasters we see overseas or the ones in our own backyard - like last December's flooding - we need to ensure that we are planning for the very worst. These grants will help fund disaster planning at the local level by the local officials who are most familiar with the capabilities and needs of their communities."
The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program was authorized in the 9/11 Recommendations bill that Senator Murray helped to pass last year. The $5,878,853 that will be allocated to Washington state is over $1 million more than the state received last year. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and fought for increased funding to the EMPG program. The FY08 Homeland Security Appropriations bill included $50 million more nationally for EMPG over the previous year’s funding.
Sen. Murray also wrote a letter last December, signed by twenty-five other senators, calling on President Bush to fully support the EMPG and other important homeland security grant programs.
The funds Murray announced today will be distributed through the Washington State Emergency Management Department to counties throughout the state.