DHS invites some jurisdictions to apply for BioWatch grants

The U.S Department of Homeland Security is inviting some state, county and city governments to apply for grants for its BioWatch Program to prepare for a possible biological terror attack. | Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is inviting some state, county and city governments to apply for grants from its BioWatch Program.

The program is part of the department's comprehensive strategy to counter any possible biological terror threat. The grants will be accepted until Sept. 30, with a total of about $29 million expected to be given out.

The maximum amount given out will be about $4.5 million, and the minimum is about $178,220. No cost-sharing or matching dollars are required from local governments.

The BioWatch Program was designed as an early-warning system to detect the possible release of aerosolized biological agents.

“The BioWatch Program’s mission is to provide and maintain a continuous bio-terrorism air-monitoring system in metropolitan areas and coordinate with state and local public health (authorities) to prepare for and respond to a bioterrorist event,” the department said.

The program is “a critical part” of a national effort to prepare the country for a possible biological attack, the department said.

The grants will be used to continue jurisdictional training on preventive actions and timely responses, as well as aid in the recovery process after an attack.

The department expects to award grants to about 27 local governments.

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security 12th St SW Washington, DC 20024

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