The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a $48 million program to fund and improve interoperable emergency communications capabilities across states, territories, local units of government, and tribal communities under the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP). States and territories may apply for these funds through their State Administrative Agency by visiting www.grants.gov.

The program will fund four key areas: planning, training, exercise and personnel. All activities proposed under IECGP must be integral to interoperable emergency communications and aligned with the goals and initiatives identified in the grantee's approved Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan, as well as aligned with the goals of the National Emergency Communications Plan. According to DHS, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive a minimum allocation of 0.5% of the total funds available. FEMA expects to award funds by the end of September 2008 and grantees are not required to provide a cash or in-kind match for these awards.