This month, we provide updates on the COVID-19 pandemic; winter storms impacting most of the United States (US); and the impact of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga–Ha’apai Underwater Volcano on the US.
The COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution…
The US has reported that more than 76.7 million people have been infected with COVID-19, while nearly 903,038 Americans have died from the virus. To date, over 80.5 percent of people over the age of five in the US have been vaccinated either partially or fully. Additionally, 42.4 percent of people who are vaccinated and eligible for a booster have gotten their booster shot. This month, the Biden Administration announced that every household in the US would be eligible to receive four at-home Rapid COVID-19 Tests. You can order your free tests here. The CDC has recommended a booster shot for all adults. Notably, this booster shot can be a different vaccine than the one received previously.
Winter storms impact the country throughout January…
During the first week of January, winter storms impacted large portions of the US Southeast and mid-Atlantic, with the National Weather Service (NWS) reporting Virginia experienced over 14 inches of snow. Several accidents occurred on a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95 south of Washington, DC. As a result, The New York Times noted numerous motorists were stranded on the interstate overnight. During the week of January 17, Winter Storm Izzy impacted 19 states and produced strong winds, ice, and significant snowfall across large portions of the US Midwest, East Coast, Southeast, and mid-Atlantic. Some northern states recorded snowfall of over 16 inches, and snow impacted southern states like Georgia and South Carolina, causing dangerous road conditions and power outages. At the end of January, the Northeast experienced a Nor’easter Bomb Cyclone , with the NWS reporting that some areas experienced over two feet of snow. The storm led to flooding in coastal areas and was responsible for thousands of flight cancelations. Another round of winter weather kicked off the month of February, impacting much of the mid-to-Southwestern US as well as the Northeast, with some areas receiving record amounts of snow and ice.
Tonga Tsunami impacts the US…
In mid-January, the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga– Ha’apai Underwater Volcano erupted about 20 miles southeast of the coast of one of Tonga’s Islands. The eruption caused Tsunami warnings and effects that impacted places as far as Hawaii and the US West Coast, Canada, and Peru. The NWS reported that Tsunami waves were felt in California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Street flooding and pier flooding were also reported in these areas, with little damage to property. The NWS also reported that the volcanic eruption caused pressure fluctuations from shockwaves that were recorded around the world, including in Chicago.
Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, Fire Prevention, and Safety Grants
The purpose of the AFG Program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. The Grants Programs Directorate administers the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants as part of the AFG Program. FP&S offers grants to support activities in two categories: (1) activities designed to reach high-risk target groups and mitigate incidences of death and injuries caused by fire and fire-related hazards (“Fire Prevention and Safety Activity”) and (2) research and development activities aimed at improving firefighter safety (“Firefighter Safety Research and Development Activity”). The program guidance document provides potential applicants with the details of the requirements, processing, and evaluation of an application for financial assistance for both of these activity areas. Learn More
- Source: Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Funding Opportunity Number: DHS-21-GPD-044-00-97
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $46,000,000
- Award Ceiling: $1,500,000
- Application Due Date: February 18, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: Fire Departments
Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program
Cyber-attacks are a growing threat to small businesses and the U.S. economy. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes reached $2.7 billion in 2020 alone. Small businesses are attractive targets because they have information that cybercriminals want, and they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses. According to a recent SBA survey, 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Yet many businesses can’t afford professional IT solutions, have limited time to devote to cybersecurity, or they don’t know where to begin. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized the US Small Business Administration to make grants to States, and the equivalent thereof, to carry out projects that help new small business concerns with tools to combat cybersecurity threats during their formative and most vulnerable years. Learn More
- Source: Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Funding Opportunity Number: SB-OEDCS-22-001
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $3,000,000
- Award Ceiling: $1,000,000
- Application Due Date: March 3, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: State governments
Rural Emergency Medical Services Training Grant
The purpose of this program is to recruit and train EMS personnel in rural areas with a particular focus on addressing mental and substance use disorders. SAMHSA recognizes the great need for emergency services in rural areas and the critical role EMS personnel serve across the country. Learn More
- Source: Department of Health and Human Services (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA])
- Funding Opportunity Number: TI-22-001
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $5,400,000
- Award Ceiling: $200,000
- Application Due Date: March 16, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: Eligibility is statutorily limited to rural emergency medical service agencies operated by a local or tribal government (fire-based and non-fire-based) and non-profit emergency medical service agencies.
Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program
The Farm and Food Workers Relief grant program provides financial support to eligible entities to deliver relief in the form of $600 flat-rate payments to eligible farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery store workers who incurred expenses preparing for preventing exposure to, and responding to, the COVID-19 pandemic. This relief is intended to defray costs for reasonable and necessary personal, family, or living expenses, such as, but not limited to costs for PPE, expenses associated with quarantines and testing, and dependent care. Learn More
- Source: Department of Agriculture (USDA)- Agricultural Marketing Service
- Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-AMS-TM-FFWR-G-21-0013
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $665,000,000
- Award Ceiling: $50,000,00
- Application Due Date: March 10, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), other than institutions of higher education; State governments; Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized); Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education.
Questions? We welcome your feedback.