About the UASI Program

Background of the Federal Program

Created in 2003 in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States by al-Qaeda, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) is the only federal homeland security grant program that requires regional governance, strategic planning and investing involving all disciplines - law enforcement, fire service, public health and medical, public works, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and emergency management – in order to acquire the necessary plans, equipment, training and exercises to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from threats and acts of terrorism and other major hazards.

This program was established to enhance the preparedness level of high threat communities. With support from the UASI and related Homeland Security grant programs, stakeholders in the Jersey City – Newark urban area are engaged in a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional partnership to improve local capacity to prepare for, protect against, response to and recover from catastrophic incidents.

The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program is administered by DHS/FEMA under the Homeland Security Grant Program and is one of a suite risk-based grants to assist state, local, tribal and territorial efforts in preventing, protecting against, mitigating, responding to and recovering from acts of terrorism and other threats. This grant provides grantees with the resources required for implementation of the National Preparedness System and working toward the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation.

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About Jersey City - Newark UASI

The Jersey City/Newark UASI encompasses the 2 core Cities of Newark and Jersey City along with the counties of Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, and Union. The Jersey City/Newark UASI was established by a charter that formed a 9 entity Executive Committee (UEC) that represents each of the core city and counties in the UASI region. Under that charter multi-jurisdictional discipline based working groups were put in place to develop programs that identified and filled gaps in regional capability and response. 

Program Administration

The UASI Program Management Office (PMO), formally implemented as the Office for Management and Regional Integration (OMRI) within the Rutgers Center on Policing under the Institute for Secure communities, was established to provide program oversight and coordination as required by the 7 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Counties and 2 Core Cities under the direction of the UASI Executive Committee (UEC).  

The PMO ensures that all funding and resources provided to the UASI are utilized consistent with the UEC direction and requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) and local jurisdictional guidance and regulations.  The PMO supports project development and provides technical assistance to the UASI Leadership, Sub-Committees, and other supporting organizations. This assistance includes providing guidance, ensuring linkage to the Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment/State Preparedness Report; developing technical and supportive guidelines for inclusion in Investment Justifications (IJ); providing recommendations regarding latest technologies; and the final and full development of any IJ to the standards as required by DHS/FEMA. The PMO assists all UASI jurisdictions in the establishment of priorities for project funding consistent with the THIRA/SPR; provides reporting of status programmatically and financially; monitors and validates current and projected maintenance and sustainment costs; assist with procurement issues, and/or the coordination of procurement with OHSP and others; develops necessary MOUs and other agreements that ensures regionalization consistent with the THIRA. Performs duties required by UASI Executive Committee.  The PMO is tasked with:

  • Ensuring UASI mission and core capabilities are aligned with projects, committees, and working groups.
  • Establishing Sub-Committee deliverables that promote collaboration and enhance regional capabilities.
  • Identifying gaps and strategic needs of the region to enhance preparedness activities.
  • Acting as the liaison between the UASI Executive Committee, the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and National UASI activities.
  • Program Development & Assessments as related to the Threat Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (THIRA) and the State Preparedness Report (SPR)
  • Development ,validation, updating and the completion of required reports identifying progress related to all identified efforts as they relate to identified gaps.