State of Iowa receives $96.9 million HUD grant
Jan. 22, 2016 - Gov. Terry E. Branstad has been notified that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Iowa $96.9 million for disaster resilience projects.
Through the National Disaster Resilience Competition, HUD has awarded the State $96.9 million to conduct a program to help Iowa communities recover from prior disasters and improve their ability to recover more quickly from future disasters. The award comes after a two-phase competition, during which several state and local agencies collaborated to create a program called the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA). The IWA will accomplish six goals, including reducing flood risk, improving water quality, increasing resilience, engaging stakeholders, improving quality of life and health, and developing a program that can be replicated throughout the Midwest and the nation. The HUD National Disaster Resilience competition awarded nearly $1 billion to communities across the United States.
The agencies involved in the development of the HUD grant application are the office of Gov. Terry Branstad, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University, and the City of Dubuque.
IEDA will be administering the grant award, which will include ensuring timely and successful completion of the program, monitoring Community Development Block Grant compliance, and making all final financial decisions.
HSEMD will provide technical support to implement the IWA and coordinate disaster preparedness and hazard mitigation activities. HSEMD Director Mark Schouten said the Iowa Watershed Approach will be consistent with other statewide programs in Iowa to reduce flooding and improve water quality. These programs include the Iowa Flood Mitigation Program, which has awarded funding to 10 communities to increase flood protection and prevention, and the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, that will lead to a measurable reduction of nutrients in our waterways.
Other agencies involved in implementation of the IWA will include the Iowa Flood Center, which, along with the City of Dubuque, will use their technical expertise and stakeholder connections to lead technical and programmatic implementation.
Links and Documents
- HUD press release
- Grant award fact sheet
- Award Q&A
- Map of Iowa watersheds included in the grant award
- Grant submission support letter
- Final (Phase 2) Application Documents
The role we all play in community safety
As the world continues its dialogue about the horrific events that unfolded in Paris on Nov. 13 and in San Bernadino on Dec. 2, old wounds are opened, reminding us of the tragedy of 9/11. Many again speculate if such a hostile event could happen here in Iowa, and also, what mechanisms are in place to ensure that they don’t?
The reality is, those who wish to do us harm are constantly plotting, planning for additional opportunities that may or may not come. So what are we as Americans–as Iowans–to do?
If you witness any type of suspicious activity, it is wise to report such activity to your local law enforcement agency. An alert public helps to keep our communties safe. Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Unusual items or situations. A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package or some luggage is unattended, a window or door is open that is usually closed, or something else out of the ordinary.
- Eliciting information. A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance. Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (for example, with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
While some of these activities may be innocent, it’s ultimately up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. It is behavior, rather than appearance, that should be used in determining suspicious activity.
When reporting suspicious activity, remember to describe specifically what you observed, including:
- What or Who you saw
- When you saw it
- Where it occurred
- Why it is suspicious
It all boils down to one simple phrase: If you See Something, Say SomethingTM. Call 9-1-1, and notify your local law enforcement.
Police, security guards, and other officials cannot be everywhere, all the time. In the end it is up to all of us to protect our friends, our family, our neighbors, and the community as a whole.
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Don't miss out on information that could save your life! Sign up to receive Alert Iowa messages today. The best way to receive alerts is by text message on your mobile phone. You don't need a smartphone to sign up for text alerts, but your cellular provider's message and data rates may apply. Watch the video below to learn more.
Bird flu links
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