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National Urban Search And Rescue (US&R) Response System

Program Descriptions

Program Number



National Urban Search And Rescue (US&R) Response System


Federal Agency




Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296; Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1966; National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1997, as amended; Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5206; 44 CFR Part 208; Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, as amended, 42 U.S.C., 7701 et seq.






Develop, maintain, deploy, coordinate, and support National Urban Search and Rescue resources on-scene to locate, provide initial medical treatment, and extricate victims of incidents requiring specialized search and rescue operations while simultaneously enhancing the US&R response capabilities of State and local governments.


Types of Assistance

Project Grants.


Uses and Use Restrictions

State and local emergency management agencies may jointly develop one or more US&R Task Force(s), as defined in the National US&R Response System Operation Manual. Use of cooperative agreement funding is restricted to program management/administration,training, equipment acquisition, and storage and maintenance of equipment, to meet task force position criteria, and conduct and participate in meetings within the National US&R Response System. Equipment acquisitions are limited to those included in FEMA's approved equipment cache list, including equipment for management/administration and other items approved by the FEMA US&R Program Office. Training requirements as included in the Operation Manual and including Grants Management and Financial Training.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Only the 28 sponsoring jurisdictions who are currently designated by FEMA as members of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System are eligible for operations and maintenance cooperative agreements.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Only the 28 State and local government sponsoring organizations formally accepted by FEMA for participation in the National US&R Response System.


State and/or local government applicants must verify that all personnel recommended for a task force meet the personnel qualifications as listed in the National US&R Response System Operation Manual. In addition, equipment needs must be verified as being on the approved equipment cache list or as approved by the Program Office. Grant awards/administration will be in accordance with the following: The Grantee shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

All applicants will complete the equipment and personnel checklists contained in the National US&R Response System Manual, as well as identifying required training for potential task force members, on an annual basis. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

Application deadline and other information are contained in the yearly application/program guidance.

Award Procedure

Applications and budget plans are reviewed by DHS Program Office and Grants Management Office. Any issues or concerns noted in the application will be negotiated with the successful applicant prior to the award being issued.


Refer to announcement or application guidance for further information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Refer to program guidance document.


Appeals must be made in writing and submitted within thirty (30) days from the date of disapproval. The appeal will be submitted through the appropriate FEMA Regional Office, to the Director for the Response Directorate. Within thirty days following the receipt of an appeal, the Response Director will provide the applicant, in writing, a determination on the appeal.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Refer to program guidance. Awards are subject to the Cash Management Improvement Act for payment and/or reimbursement of expenditures.


Post Assistance Requirements


Grantees are required to submit quarterly financial reports and semi-annual performance reports. Semi-Annual "Performance Reports" must include the progress of each grant award and are due on January 30 and July 30. Financial Reports are due 30 days after the end of each quarter: Jan. 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31. Closeout documents including final financial and performance reports are due 90 days after the expiration or termination of the grant award.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards (or receive property, or a combination of both, within the fiscal year) will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular A-133. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency, submitted through the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, not later than 9 months after the end of the grantees fiscal year.


Grant records shall be retained for a period of 3 years from the day the recipient submits its final expenditure report. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, or other action involving the records has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later. Grant records include financial and program/progress reports, support documents, statistical records, and other documents that support the activity and/or expenditure of the recipient or sub-recipient under the award.


Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $22,238,000; FY 08 $ 28,982,012; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Refer to program guidance.


Program Accomplishments

To continue to provide funding for equipment, training, and related activities for the 28 grantees comprising the National US&R Response System in order to assist them in achieving full operational readiness, as determined by FEMA.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

Interim Federal Rule 44 CFR Part 208, guidelines outlined in the annual statement of work for task force preparedness cooperative agreements. In addition, the requirements for establishing a standardized US&R Task Force are contained in the National US&R Response System Sponsoring Organization Capability Criteria manual, as amended by http://FEMA.The Grantee shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations. In addition a non-exclusive list of regulations commonly applicable to DHS grants are listed below: Administrative Requirements OMB Circular A-102, State and Local Governments (10/07/94, amended 08/29/97) (44 CFR Part 13) OMB Circular A-110, Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations (11/19/93, amended 09/30/99) (2 CFR Part 215) Cost Principles, 2 CFR Part 225, (OMB Circular A-87), State and Local Governments 2 CFR Part 205, (OMB Circular A-21), Educational Institutions, 2 CFR Part 230, (OMB Circular A-122), Nonprofit Organizations Audit Requirements. OMB Circular A-133, States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations (06/24/97, includes revisions published in the Federal Register 06/27/03).


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Headquarters Office: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), C/O 245 Murray Lane Building #410, Washington, DC 20523; Telephone: (202) 786-9458.

Web Site Address


Related Programs



Examples of Funded Projects

Program Management to ensure day to day operations of the US&R taskforce. Acquisition of tools and equipment identified in the current US&R equipment cache list. Development and delivery of training needed to fulfill task force missions. Lease of or modifications to existing buildings (not to change the building existing footprint) cache storage space.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Refer to the program guidance for information on criteria for selecting proposals.


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