[Baltimore, MD, August 27, 2020] The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $843,988 to the Baltimore region to conduct emergency housing and shelter planning through the FY 2020 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP) on August 19, 2020. Through a partnership between the City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), the grant will fund regional housing and shelter planning at BMC in collaboration with a committee of local emergency management agencies in the Baltimore region known as the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). The project will produce individually tailored plans for each jurisdiction as well as one regional plan; and will support training and exercises for emergency management personnel.
The seven jurisdictions of the Baltimore UASI are: Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. Collectively, the population of these counties and municipalities accounts for approximately 2.7 million of the 6.4 million residents of the state of Maryland.
“Access to stable shelter is essential to protecting our health and wellbeing — especially in a time of crisis,” said Johnny Olszewski, Baltimore County Executive and BMC Board Chair. “I applaud the Baltimore UASI and BMC for working together to secure funding that will expand our region’s ability to provide regional housing and shelter planning.”
In 2019, the Baltimore region received a grant award from the RCPGP to hire two planners at BMC to conduct food and water disaster supply chain planning, training, and exercise activities.
The RCPGP-funded planners have been actively engaged in the COVID-19 response by providing subject matter expertise to the region’s emergency food distribution planning operations. These funds have allowed the Baltimore UASI to collaborate, share best practices, and document procedures and training.
“BMC has been instrumental in the response to COVID-19 in the region,” said Stephen Wantz, Carroll County Commissioner and BMC Board Vice-Chair. “Their work in providing resources, guidance and standards in food and water distribution throughout the pandemic has been extremely valuable.”
The FY 2019 RCPGP provided resources to address mass care operations in relation to food and water supply chain distribution efforts. The new FY 2020 RCPGP award will allow the region to continue to build upon the current mass care work and expand to address sheltering needs as it relates to all hazards.