Monday, November 29, 2021

Applications Open for Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program

News Date: 
Tuesday, Nov 09, 2021 - 04:00

About the UASI Grant Program

The Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) is responsible for administering a number of public safety and homeland security-related grant programs to strengthen the County’s resilience in the face of significant threats, be they human caused or natural hazards. One of the most significant programs is the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Homeland Security Grant Program. This program is designed to assist high-threat, high density Urban Areas in efforts to build, sustain and deliver the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism. For the purpose of this grant program, the Urban Area is limited to the City of Chicago and communities located in Cook County.

How to Apply


More Information

To guide your efforts, it is important to note the UASI program has a specific target: eligible projects must have a distinct nexus to counter-terrorism. Generally speaking, UASI funds are used to address a gap in one or more of the 32 core capabilities as defined by FEMA, which support the National Preparedness Goal (  In addition, UASI funds are not intended to supplant or replace local funding for normal operations. Rather, they serve to supplement existing budgets – providing Urban Areas the opportunities to purchase equipment or fund training that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Therefore, in soliciting potential UASI projects, EMRS seeks ideas for investments in physical assets, equipment and/or training with a direct nexus to counter-terrorism and a focus on regional capabilities and collaboration.

Additionally, beginning in 2020, the federal government identified national priorities for UASI investments. These priorities include the following categories, which are explained in more detail in the FAQ document (also located below):

  1. Cybersecurity -- Cybersecurity investments must support the security and functioning of critical infrastructure and core capabilities as they relate to preventing, preparing for, protecting against, or responding to acts of terrorism.
  2. Soft Targets/Crowded Places -- Given the increased emphasis by terrorists and other extremist actors to leverage less sophisticated methods to inflict harm in public areas, it is vital that the public and private sectors collaborate to enhance security of locations such as transportation centers, parks, restaurants, shopping centers, special event venues, and similar facilities.