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Pam Tickle
Grants Manager

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

FCEM&HS & The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety Host Annual Weather Spotter Training

National Weather Service to Teach How to Spot Tornadoes and Severe Spring Weather

(COLUMBUS, OHIO) – Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&HS) and The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety are co-sponsoring the annual Tornado and Severe Weather Spotter Seminar by the National Weather Service (NWS) beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at The Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus. The training and parking are free and open to the public. 

The seminar, led by meteorologists from the NWS office in Wilmington, Ohio, will provide specialized training to citizens, public safety officers and emergency management personnel on how to spot, report and prepare for tornadoes as well as other severe spring weather conditions in Franklin County.  Trainees will be provided with the basic tools needed to become a severe weather spotter and assist NWS forecasters with the information necessary to issue warnings and updates.   

Deadline to register for the seminar is close of business Friday, March 17, 2017. Residents interested in the training can register on the homepage of our website by clicking the link titled “Register for the 2017 Weather Spotter Training”.

“NWS relies on real-time observations from trained weather spotters on the ground to provide critical information that may not be available to forecasters during severe weather events,” said Jeffrey J. Young, Director, Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.  “Weather spotters play a vital part in helping keep our community safe.” 

“The safety of our campus community is our number one priority,” said Bob Armstrong, Director of Ohio State Emergency Management and Fire Prevention.  “The training provides a great opportunity for us to enhance campus preparedness and be ready to respond when severe weather strikes.” 

The four-hour training will cover the basics of thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, flooding, damaging winds, storm structure and development as well as what visual clues to look for that may indicate when the weather is about to turn severe.

Driving directions to The Fawcett Center can be found at www.fawcettcenter.com/page/directions/

FCEM&HS, a government agency serving 42 local jurisdictions in Franklin County, coordinates countywide emergency and disaster planning, education, warning, response and recovery.


Grant Programs

State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) Grant

The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) was designed to enhance the capacity of local jurisdictions to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents of terrorism involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) weapons and cyber-attacks.

Purpose of the SHSGP

  • Focus on the development and sustainment of core capabilities.
  • Build a robust national preparedness capacity based on cross-jurisdictional and readily deployable assets.


The FY2016 SHSP is moving away from a competitive approach and towards a regional approach. Ohio EMA will be using the eight (8) homeland security regions as a way to distribute funds.

Ohio EMA, in its capacity as the State Administrative Agency (SAA), has decided to break the overall SHSP award into the following categories of funding:


Early Warning/Notification


Intelligence and Information Sharing


Targeted Sustainment of Specialty Teams (Search and Rescue, HazMat, Bomb) 


In accordance with Ohio EMA’s past administration of the SHSP (Non-LE) grant, eligible applicants are limited to the 88 County Emergency Management Agencies within Ohio. Franklin County is part of Homeland Security Planning Region 4.  Each region will have a pre-identified EMA fiscal agent who will serve as the eligible applicant for the region. For this region, FCEM&HS has been appointed as the fiscal agent. 


In order to be funded by FY2016 HSGP funds, Ohio is requiring that local projects meet the following criteria:

1. Must support terrorism preparedness/demonstrate nexus to terrorism

2. Regional capability as demonstrated by support of all counties within the Ohio Homeland Security Planning Region where the project originates;

3. If requesting capability that is deployable/sharable within the region, state and nation-must indicate a commitment to do so per existing EMAC agreements;

4. If requesting sustainment of core capability not physically deployable, must still support national response capabilities such as Geographic/Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), interoperable communications systems, capabilities as defined under the mitigation mission area of the Goal, and fusion centers

5. Must directly support at least one of the core capabilities outlined in this document as being supported by Ohio’s FY2016 SHSP funding

6. Must be connected to a terrorism plan-local plan, regional plan, THIRA (if applicable), State Preparedness Report, etc. 

All equipment procured under SHSGP has to be in support of the maintenance or development of a capability described and typed under NIMS where such typing guidance exists as published by FEMA. The allowable prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery equipment categories and equipment standards are listed on the web-based version of the Authorized Equipment List.  FEMA Preparedness Grants Authorized Equipment List 

For additional information and the application template, visit the "Apply for a Grant" page of this website.


Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Hazardous Materials Grant

Another available grant funding opportunity is through the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).  This funding is specifically for hazardous materials training, planning and exercises. All grants awarded must be used for the training of public safety and emergency services personnel in the proper techniques for the management of hazardous materials spills and releases that occur during transportation. Grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis. Although grants may be awarded to educational institutions and state agencies, first priority is given to political subdivisions. If political subdivisions contract with outside consultants or institutions to conduct the training programs for them, the political subdivisions will be charged with the responsibility of ascertaining the accountability of the consultants or institutions.

Applications are reviewed quarterly but can be submitted at any time.  For additional information, application and forms, please access the PUCO website. PUCO 

About the Grants Program
Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&S) has been the administrator for various grant programs over the years. Some of the grants administered through this agency include State Homeland Security Grant Programs (SHSGP), the Citizen Corps Council (CCC) Grant Program, and the Interoperable Emergency Communication Grant Program (IECGP). These grants were made available to states via the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). The grants were awarded to the individual counties by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and were non-competitive in nature.

In 2012, drastic changes occurred in the State Homeland Security Grant Programs (SHSGP) and for the first time, the grant application process became extremely competitive and the amount of funding available decreased considerably. The FY2012 Grants guidance began preparing grantees for the transition to the new grants vision by consolidating multiple, separate preparedness grant programs into a more streamlined model.


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