Although it pales in comparison to the $700 billion financial bailout, public-safety organizations soon will receive $3 billion in federally funded checks. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released guidance last week on how the FY 2009 grants will be spent. Grants will be allocated and are awarded according to a risk-assessment methodology used in FY 2008, according to DHS.

So I thought I would take the space in today’s column to break it down by the numbers. (And yes, to those wondering, interoperable communications is near the bottom of the list.) First of all, more than half of the billions will be allocated to the State Homeland Security Program and Urban Areas Security Initiative under the Homeland Security Grant Program. About $1.7 billion has been allocated to four initiatives below, the applications for which are due March 20, 2009:

$861.3 million: State Homeland Security Program to strengthen and build state, territorial and local preparedness capabilities through planning, equipment, and training exercises.

$798.6 million: The Urban Areas Security Initiative to enhance protection of 62 high-threat, high-density urban areas, with the seven highest risk areas competing for $439 million, or 55% of available funds. The Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activities will receive at least 25 % from both funds for terrorism prevention.

$39.8 million: Metropolitan Medical Response System Program gets divided among 124 jurisdictions for regional, mass-casualty incident response and preparedness capabilities.

$14.6 million: The Citizen Corps Program to states and territories to engage citizens in community preparedness, response and recovery activities.

The rest of the money is targeted to more specific initiatives. Applications for the following grants are due on Jan. 13, 2009:

$388.6 million: Transit Security Grant Program to protect critical transit infrastructure from terrorism.

$388.6 million: Port Security Grant Program to protect port infrastructure from terrorism and support implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential.

$306 million: Emergency Management Performance Grants for the enhancement of state and local governments’ all-hazards emergency management capabilities.

$60 million: Operation Stonegarden to enhance law enforcement and border security operations on a state level, such as states bordering Canada (including Alaska), southern states bordering Mexico, and states and territories with international water borders.

$48.6 million: Buffer Zone Protection Program for critical infrastructure sites, such as chemical facilities and nuclear power plants.

$48.6 million: Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program for planning, training exercises and equipment to states, territories, local and tribal governments to carry out initiatives identified in Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans.

$34 million: Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program for catastrophic incident preparedness in selected high-risk, high-incident urban areas.

$15 million: The Nonprofit Security Grant Program to support target-hardening activities at nonprofit organizations that are considered high-risk to be victimized by a terrorist attack.

$11.7 million: Intercity Bus Security Grant Program to assist intercity and charter bus services’ security plans.

$7.8 million: Trucking Security Program to implement security improvement measures and policies that focus on trailer tracking systems, so DHS can monitor, collect and analyze tracking information.

$1.7 million: State Homeland Security Program Tribal will be provided to tribal applicants.

Additional information is available at www.dhs.gov and www.fema.gov/grants.

E-mail me at maryrose.roberts@penton.com.