WELCOME BACK TO DISASTER DISCOURSE MONTHLY!
Welcome back to Disaster Discourse Monthly. This month, we provide updates on the COVID-19 pandemic; heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest; wildfires across the United States (US); the deaths at a Waukesha Christmas Parade; and the
Astroworld festival crowd surge.
The COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution…
The US has reported that more than 48.4 million people have been infected with COVID-19; while more than 780,131 Americans have died from the virus. To date, over 74.8 percent of people over the age of five in the US have been vaccinated either partially or fully. This month, a new variant of COVID-19 has emerged, sparking concern about potential symptoms and the continued effectiveness of the vaccine. The variant, called Omicron, was first identified on November 25 in South Africa and has since been identified in dozens of countries including the US. Research is being conducted on the effectiveness of the vaccine against this variant, as well as the transmissibility and potential symptoms of the new variant. This month has also seen advancements in the COVID-19 response. According to the CDC, all adults in the US are now eligible for a booster shot six months after their initial dose. Additionally, two new treatment options for individuals with COVID-19, in the form of antiviral pills, are being considered for authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If authorized, these pills would provide a cheaper and easier method for treating COVID-19 infections than those that currently exist.
Heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest…
For most of this month, heavy rains have battered the Pacific Northwest. The National Weather Service (NWS) recorded more than 19 inches of rain in Seattle, the most rainfall for the meteorological fall season on record. The persistent rainfall has caused extensive flooding in parts of Washington and Oregon. At one point, 14 counties in Washington were under an emergency declaration while others were facing flood watches. The conditions resulted in lost power for more than 158,000 people, the majority of which was restored within 24 hours. Additionally, the region experienced dozens of road closures as a result of mudslides and flooding. Additionally, shelters have been established for displaced individuals. Although some conditions – such as certain road closures and power outages – were improved, as of November 30, the region is still facing heavy rains that continue to pose a threat. Authorities showed concerned with mudslides, which are high-risk due to the conditions brought on by persistent wind and rainfall. Intermittent rain in the region is expected to continue over the first couple weeks of December.
Wildfires across the nation…
So far in 2021, there have been over 52,729 wildfire instances in the US. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), these fires have burned over 6,631,430 acres. This month, large wildfires have popped up in several states, including Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Texas. Additionally, a pilot was killed while fighting the Kruger Rock fire in Colorado. The fire, which burned a total of 147 acres as of November 20 has since been contained. Wildfires at this time of year mark a growing trend of extended fire seasons that experts attribute to global warming.
Deaths at Waukesha Christmas Parade…
This month, an SUV driver sped through a crowd of people in Waukesha, Wisconsin who were gathered for a local Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring at least 62 others of various ages. Many who were injured remain hospitalized in various conditions. At this time, the suspect is in custody and the Waukesha Police Department has reported that there is no further threat. As of November 23, the motive for the crime remains unclear. However police have said that it does not appear to be an act of terrorism.
Astroworld Festival crowd surge…
At least ten people were killed and several hundred injured in a mass casualty event during a Travis Scott concert; due to crowd surge. The concert was part of a two-day music festival called Astroworld, which took place in Houston. Although crowd surges resulting in deaths have happened before, this is one of the deadliest in US history. As crowd pressure increased, concertgoers began to suffer heart attacks, crush injuries, and inability to breathe that caused many to collapse in areas that were difficult for medical personnel to access as a result of the surging crowd. Despite many of these collapses occurring within minutes of the show starting, the concert continued for nearly an hour before being stopped early.
Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI)
The CSSI umbrella program seeks to enable funding opportunities that are flexible and responsive to the evolving and emerging needs in cyberinfrastructure (CI). This solicitation expands the CSSI program by adding a new project class: Transition to Sustainability. The program continues to emphasize integrated CI services, quantitative metrics with targets for delivery and usage of these services, and community creation. Learn More
- Source: National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Funding Opportunity Number: 21-617
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $34,000,000
- Award Ceiling: N/A
- Application Due Date: December 8, 2021
- Eligible Applicants: Institutes of Higher Education; Non-Profit, non-academic organizations; NSF-sponsored federally funded research and development centers (additional eligibility information on post).
Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG)
The AFG program provides direct financial assistance to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organizations and SFTA to equip and train emergency personnel in order to foster interoperability, strengthen community resilience, and enhance the safety of the public and emergency responders before, during, and after hazardous events. Learn More
- Source: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Funding Opportunity Number: DHS-21-GPD-044-00-98
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $414,000,000
- Award Ceiling: $9,000,000
- Application Due Date: December 17, 2021
- Eligible Applicants: Public and State controlled institutions of higher education; Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized); City or township governments; nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) other than institutions of higher education; County governments; fire departments; State Fire Training Academies (SFTA); nonaffiliated emergency medical services.
W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Justice System, FY 2021
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is committed to advancing work that promotes civil rights, increases access to justice, supports crime victims, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community. The W.E.B. Du Bois Program supports quantitative and quantitative research that furthers the Department’s mission by advancing knowledge regarding the intersections of race, crime, violence, and the administration of justice within the US. In FY 2021 under the W.E.B. Program, NIJ seeks applications for funding of investigator-initiated research examining how observed racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system might be reduced through public policy interventions at any point during the administration of justice. NIJ seeks applications for funding from two categories of researchers: W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars – Researchers who are advanced in their careers (awarded a terminal degree at least seven years prior to December 31, 2021) may apply for grants for research, evaluation, and mentoring less-experienced researchers. W.E.B. Du Bois Fellows – Researchers who are early in their careers (awarded a terminal degree within seven years of December 31, 2021) may apply for grants for research and evaluation.
- Source: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
- Funding Opportunity Number: O-NIJ-2021-171008
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $3,000,000
- Award Ceiling: $3,000,000
- Application Due Date: December 30, 2021
- Category: Equity; justice
- Eligible Applicants: Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education; Public and State controlled institutions of higher education; For profit organizations other than small businesses; Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized); Small businesses; County governments; Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments); Independent school districts; Private institutions of higher education; City or township governments; Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education; Special district governments; State governments; Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities.
Security and Preparedness
The Security and Preparedness (SAP) Program supports basic scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of issues broadly related to global and national security. Research proposals are evaluated on the criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts; the proposed projects are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented. Substantive areas include (but are not limited to) international relations, global and national security, human security, political violence, state stability, conflict processes, regime transition, international and comparative political economy, and peace science. Moreover, the Program supports research experiences for undergraduate students and infrastructural activities, including methodological innovations. The Program does not fund applied research. In addition, we encourage you to examine the websites for the NSF’s Accountable Institutions and Behavior (AIB) and Law and Science (LS) programs. Learn More
- Source: NSF
- Funding Opportunity Number: PD-19-118Y
- Estimated Total Program Funding: N/A
- Award Ceiling: N/A
- Application Due Date: January 17, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: Unrestricted
Community-Based Workforce to Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence
The purpose of this funding opportunity is to strengthen vaccine confidence, provide further information and education on the vaccines and improve rates of vaccination across the country, by mobilizing community outreach workers, targeting vulnerable and medically underserved communities. Learn More
- Source: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
- Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-22-120
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $66,500,000
- Award Ceiling: $0
- Application Due Date: December 10, 2021
- Eligible Applicants: Nonprofit private or public organizations with experience in implementing public health programs, including Tribal organizations.
Regional Public Health Training Centers (PHTC) Program
This program seeks to increase the number of individuals in the public health workforce, enhance the quality of the workforce, and improve the ability of this workforce to meet healthcare needs. Specifically, this program aims to strengthen the public health workforce through tailored training and technical assistance. Learn More
- Source: HHS – HRSA
- Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-22-055
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $9,100,000
- Award Ceiling: $0
- Application Due Date: January 24, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: Schools of public health, public or nonprofit private entities accredited to provide graduate or specialized training in public health, faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations.
Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program
This program aims to provide financial support to eligible entities (in $600 flat-rate payments to eligible farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery stores) who incurred expenses preparing for and preventing exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, this funding opportunity is intended to defray costs for reasonable and necessary personal, family, or living expenses such as personal protective equipment and expenses associated with quarantining, testing, and dependent care. Learn More
- Source: Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-AMS-TM-FFWR-G-21-0013
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $665,000,000
- Award Ceiling: $50,000,000
- Application Due Date: February 8, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: State governments and agencies, Native American Tribal governments and entities, and nonprofit organizations.
Public Health Scholarship Program (PHSP)
The purpose of this program is to strengthen the public health workforce by supporting organizations to develop scholarship programs that incentivize individuals to pursue careers in public health. Through this program, scholarship recipients (which includes individuals in professional, graduate, and/or certificate programs in public health as well as employees receiving training in public health) will gain skills to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies such as COVID-19. Learn More
- Source: Department of Health and Human Services – HRSA
- Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-22-122
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $39,000,000
- Award Ceiling: N/A
- Application Due Date: April 18, 2022
- Eligible Applicants: City, township, state, and Tribal governments, and private institutions of higher education.
Questions? We welcome your feedback.