For a limited time in 2021, eligible entities — including municipalities, state-recognized tribes, school districts, and other local government agencies — have the opportunity to access complete funding for security and law enforcement costs necessitated by reopening, as part of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to the global COVID-19 emergency. These unprecedented matching funds can be used to help end-users strengthen their systems amidst reopening concerns.
FEMA’s Cost Share on Security Costs
In 1979, President Carter signed an executive order establishing FEMA to expand the assistance the federal government could provide to communities suffering from disasters. Following this order, the 1988 “Stafford Act” established our current statutory framework for disaster response, according to FEMA’s website.
Most notably for stakeholders in the security industry, FEMA has now made complete aid available to eligible schools and child-care facilities with the purpose of assisting these entities with a safe opening and resuming operations, following the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration signed by the President of the United States on March 13, 2020. Under this new aid framework, FEMA will pay 100 percent of the costs of efforts to help end-users strengthen their systems amidst reopening concerns, such as purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfecting services and supplies, and security solutions.
From January 21 through September 30, 2021, schools will be able to access this funding for upgrades to safety and security protocols, including the purchasing of technologies outfitted for threat detection, to help create a safe environment as students go back to in-person learning. This is where integrators come in.
Why This Matters for Integrators?
In the coming months of preparation for full educational reopening, it’s paramount that integrators educate their school district customers on the immense value of adding audio solutions when considering how to best upgrade their safety solutions with disaster relief aid from FEMA.
Integrators should note that audio devices, such as microphones, speakerphones and intercoms, strengthen existing security solutions, ensuring surveillance systems have both eyes and ears. For total situational awareness, it is vital to be able to see and hear happenings in monitored areas on campus, for the safety of students, faculty, and staff alike. The Louroe TLO-A speaker microphone is one offering that suits this dire need, featuring both listen and talk-back capabilities that will allow administrators to keep a close watch. Other benefits of audio include expanded evidence capture, alarm verification, and dispute resolution. An ideal audio solution for cutting through the heavy background noise of crowded campus hallways is the Louroe Verifact® K microphone, which uses a modified pattern in which the audio pick-up is focused from the front of the microphone rather than from the sides or back. Specifically, during virus outbreaks like COVID-19, audio solutions enable hands-free communication between administrators and students; audio devices can also broadcast important safety reminders such as to wear a mask or to stay six feet apart.
In an environment that’s expected to manage the safety of many, it is critical to have solutions in place that expand monitoring capabilities and allow security personnel to sift through noise to pinpoint actual threats. Comprehensive security systems that utilize audio alongside video capabilities are more important than ever in keeping students safe, with FEMA funding currently available to assist educators in achieving increased protection.