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State Homeland Security Program

Federal Program Overview

On December 17, 2003, the President issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 – National Preparedness. The purpose of HSPD-8 is to “establish policies to strengthen the preparedness of the United States to prevent and respond to threatened or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies by requiring a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal, establishing mechanisms for improved delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to State and local governments, and outlining actions to strengthen preparedness capabilities of Federal, State and local entities”  

HSPD-8 establishes the Secretary of Homeland Security as “the principal Federal official for coordinating the implementation of all-hazards preparedness in the United States” and requires establishment of a National Preparedness Goal to answer three fundamental questions: (1) How prepared do we need to be? (2) How prepared are we? and (3)How do we prioritize efforts to close the gap?

HSPD-8 also states that the National Preparedness Goal will establish “measurable readiness targets that appropriately balance the potential threat and magnitude of terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies with the resources required to prevent, respond to, and recover from them”.  The Interim National Preparedness Goal, issued March 31, 2005, and enabled Federal, State, local and tribal entities to prioritize needs, update preparedness strategies, allocate resources, and deliver preparedness programs.

A rigorous national analysis process including states and local entities (counties) followed and finally capabilities required to perform key homeland security prevention, protection, response, and recovery tasks were defined and catalogued. These efforts responded to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2005 (Public Law 108-334) to “provide State and local jurisdictions with nationally accepted preparedness levels of first responder capabilities no later than January 31, 2005”  

On May 23, 2005, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security published a Target Capabilities List (TCL) which was developed after close consultation with Federal, State, local and tribal entities and National Associations. The TCL identified 36 capabilities required to perform the homeland security tasks.    

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The primary mission of FEMA is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters, by leading and supporting the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. FEMA is also responsible for the development of the National Response Plan and the National Strategic Plan.

Other FEMA missions that are extremely important to state and local government emergency management agencies include the allocation of Homeland Security Grant funds, emergency planning and exercise programs and guidance.   

State of Ohio Homeland Security Program

Ohio Department of Homeland Security became a division within the Ohio Department of Public Safety on September 26, 2003. The Ohio Homeland Security Division was created by House Bill 95. The Division manages the state's day-to-day homeland security operations and oversees Homeland Security projects and procedures as recommended by the State of Ohio Security Task Force. The Division also oversees the State Building Security Review Committee and works to ensure the safety at all state-owned and operated buildings.

The Division is made up of the Domestic Preparedness Office, Counter-Terrorism Office, Multicultural   Affairs Office, Strategic Planning Office, Strategic Analysis and Information Center, and the Private   Investigator and Security Guard section.

The Ohio Homeland Security Office of Domestic Preparedness was established in July 2004. This office leads, integrates and coordinates the implementation of efforts among state departments and agencies, as well as local governments and the private sector in preparation against terrorist attacks. This office is also responsible for establishing and providing updates to the Homeland Security Strategic Plan.

Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OH EMA)

Emergency Management was established in the United States by the Federal Defense Act of 1950, which created our nation's Office of Civil Defense. This act is the foundation for the Emergency Management System that we have today. The Ohio Emergency Management Agency was established under the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 5502.  In Ohio the OH EMA and the ODHS function under the Department of Public Safety.

Ohio EMA administers two Homeland Security grant programs made available to states from the DHS.

The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) Grant is designed to enhance the capacity of state and local jurisdictions to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents of terrorism involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) weapons and cyber attacks.

The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) provides grant funds to counties on a 50/50% match basis to provide county’s EMA funds with which to operate the county emergency management programs.

Homeland Security Grants 

The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) Grant is operates under direction of the County Homeland Security Advisory Team which is appointed by the County Commissioners. Members of the this team include personnel from the following disciplines: elected officials, county agencies, emergency responders (fire, law enforcement, EMS), hospital, utilities and agriculture. The program is administered by the Fairfield County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Since the initial grant in 2003 of $25,854.60 and through 2007 the grants have totaled $1,003,887.99.   

The grant funds have been wisely used by the Advisory Team to upgrade the three 911 Centers in the County, to purchase protective clothing and other needed equipment for emergency responders, warning sirens, chemical detection equipment, interoperable radio equipment, security equipment for courts, a vehicle for EMA, equipment for the County Hazmat Team and Dive Teams.