UMB, state agency get crisis-readiness grant


The University of Maryland, Baltimore and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency have received a $1.5 million federal grant to help other states develop plans to keep vital services working in case of disaster.

The grant is part of a $30 million package announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Fifteen universities and groups received money, which will be used to train emergency workers.

More than 260 groups applied for the grants. Florida State University in Tallahassee received the largest amount, $6.2 million, to develop a seven-part security training curriculum.

Last year, 14 groups received $33 million in grants.

University and Maryland officials will help other states develop plans to keep key agencies operational during a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Under orders from Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., 24 Maryland agencies, including the state police, already have relocation plans. "It's one of the most advanced states" in relocation planning, said Andy Mitchell, director of the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness.

Over the next year, Maryland officials will hold 10 training sessions, each lasting several days, for officials from other states, said Michael Greenberger, head of the university's Center for Health and Homeland Security.

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