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Diagram of the RHSCC group organizational structure

Grant will help region prepare for coordinated terrorist attacks

On July 13, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced $35 million in grant awards for its program to prepare communities for complex, coordinated terrorist attacks (CCTAs). The Mid-America Regional Council, which applied for funding on behalf of the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee (RHSCC) and local governments in the Kansas City region, will receive $2,251,502 over three years.

“The Kansas City region has developed an outstanding regional system to respond to all types of emergencies, including terrorism,” said Hannes Zacharias, Johnson County manager and Kansas RHSCC co-chair. “As federal funds became more scarce over the past few years, local governments across the region have contributed resources to help sustain the system, but it has been a struggle. This new grant allows us to take a big step forward in our preparedness and response capabilities.”

The grant funds will be used to increase the region’s ability to prevent, prepare for and respond to CCTAs. Specific activities will include an assessment of current capabilities, refining local and regional plans, enhancing communications systems, community outreach, training and exercises. The project will be a collaborative effort involving local governments across the region and a wide range of disciplines, including law enforcement, emergency management, hospitals, emergency medical services, public safety communications, public information, social services and more.

“Preparing for potential acts of terrorism is something that we must accept as a shared community responsibility. In recent days we have seen that terrorist attacks can happen anywhere and are becoming increasingly complex,” said Steve Arbo, city manager for Lee’s Summit and Missouri co-chair of the RHSCC. “The CCTA program focuses on helping the whole community — not just first responders, but also residents, businesses and other organizations — prepare for attacks that occur with little or no warning in large crowds or multiple locations.”

FEMA set up a peer review panel of subject matter experts to score applications for this competitive grant before making the awards. A full list of awards is online at https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/07/13/fema-announces-funding-awards-prepare-communities-complex-coordinated.