County using federal monies productively

Homeland Security dollars have helped San Mateo County purchase siren warnings for tsunami alerts, improved communications systems, and an all-purpose emergency vehicle that resembles a tank, according to officials.

From 2003-05, San Mateo received its own, separate Urban Area Security Initiative grants from the federal government for terrorism and emergency prevention and response needs — receiving more than $3 million in three years.

Now, per federal instruction, San Mateo is joined with San Francisco and other Bay Area counties when applying for Homeland Security dollars.

Since 2006, when the Bay Area merged all 10 counties to form a Super Urban Area Security Initiative grant, San Mateo County has received just under $400,000 for county-specific needs, but also gets a share of the group's overall funding for regional projects, according to Lt. Murray Randleman of San Mateo County's Office of Emergency Services.

The county has been productive in its use of the federal grant money, according to Randleman. In 2004, it purchased nine tsunami warning sirens, costing $15,000 apiece. The sirens, placed in coastal areas potentially at risk of tsunamis, would alert citizens of any approaching giant waves, or could be potentially used for other emergency evacuation purposes, according to Randleman.

The county has also purchased a tactical rescue vehicle for $200,000, an air truck to refill oxygen tanks for $180,000, and four shelter trailers for $32,000 apiece, among other projects.

With much of its machinery needs addressed already, the county will focus on operational and communication projects in the future, Randleman said. Requests for more personal ham radios and funding for the expansion of community emergency response teams are included in this year's SUASI request, he said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Potential terrorism targets in the Bay Area 

» Three major seaports 

» Five major oil refineries 

» Eight bridges 

» 13 major transportation lifelines 

» 23,000 miles of public roads

Source: Northern California Regional Terrorist Threat Assessment Center

Just Posted

Central Subway project projected to run $55 million over budget

San Francisco’s $1.6 billion Central Subway is roughly $55 million in the… Continue reading

HUD secretary calls for increased deregulation after tour of Potrero Hill public housing

Carson calls for greater ‘cooperation’ between local, federal officials but offers no additional funds

Suspect in high-profile waterfront attack ordered to stand trial

Judge adds charge against Austin James Vincent for alleged criminal threats

SF increases public funding to help those running for mayor, supervisor

Those running for the Board of Supervisors or mayor will have access… Continue reading

SF supervisors call on health department to ‘pause’ planned relocation of mental health patients

Tensions high as protest by over closure of long-term beds shuts down Health Commission meeting

Most Read