It will used for planning, training & exercising against these incidents.
Reisterstown, Md (KM). A federal grant totaling $2, 098,575 has been awarded to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to prepare for terrorist attacks. “What this grant will enable us to do is to add a special focus to training, exercising and planning for these specific types of attacks,” says MEMA spokesman Chas Eby.
In working with local emergency management agencies, Eby says the training will involve how to handle complex coordinated terrorist attacks, where incidents are taking place in more than one location at the same time. “We’re planning on doing a regional approach to planning for these type of events. So if something were to occur in one area of Maryland, this grant and the associated training and plans that will go along with it will make sure that we can respond as not only one community but as a whole state and also the states around us as well,” he says.
Eby says it’s similar to mutual aid agreements that cities, counties and states have with each other when it comes to law enforcement and fire and rescue.
But he says this training can be applied to so-called “lone wolf” attacks, that is an individual acting on his or her own rather than without the support of a terrorist organization such as ISIS. “We’ve seen some instances of lone wolf terrorism and this training. Exercising and planning may benefit those types of attacks, specifically with this advantage for complex coordinated types of attacks,”: says Eby.
But, Eby says, MEMA will continue to act when emergencies develop due to natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and blizzards. “We take an all-hazards approach to emergency management in Maryland. So what this does is just add another piece of the pie for preparedness that we have for the state,” he says
The funds come from the US Department of Homeland Security as part of the Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack Program which will provide a total of $34.94-million to recipients around the country to prevent, prepare for and respond to these types of incidents. MEMA says it’s one of 29 successful applicants across the nation to receive this grant.
By Kevin McManus