Disaster Prep Grant for a School District

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N6OIL, Mar 19, 2018.

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  1. N6OIL

    N6OIL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok, maybe somebody who knows somebody in FEMA or whatever agency on where I should turn to for writing a grant. My school district has 7 school sites that have connex boxes setup for disaster comms and I would like to get generators and solar for each of those boxes.

    So I was hoping that someone has experience in the EDU space would know who to contact.

    Admins, please move this to the right topic forum if I have placed it in the wrong one.

    KL7KN likes this.
  2. KL7KN

    KL7KN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Check your PM location
  3. KD8NGE

    KD8NGE Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first thought would be to contact your county's emergency management agency.
  4. WW2E

    WW2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    First of all, it's "Conex box," not "connex box."

    Second, have a bake sale. Taxpayers are already trillions of dollars in debt.

    K3XR and W9RLG like this.
  5. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Grant writing can be an arcane art form best left to experts. If the school district is serious about doing this they most likely already have someone on staff who has gone through the grant system before and can help you out. But as someone else already said, the first place to look for help would be your county/city emergency management office. The EM office should be able to give you information about what organizations might provide grants for this kind of thing.

    Another concern is on-going training and licensing for using the equipment. I've run into situations where a hospital or some other organization set up systems like this, only to have the system fall into disuse and even being forgotten about once the original person or persons involved in setting it up left the organizations. My wife found an Icom rig in a box in a closet gathering dust at the hospital where she worked and got curious about it. She found the hospital had gotten a grant for buying it for emergency communications, and after the ham who installed it left the hospital, everyone immediately forgot it was even there.

    This may not be a concern in your situation, but I've seen a lot of equipment gathering dust because after a brief spurt of enthusiasm the organization failed to put licensing, training and testing requirements in place.
  6. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    That would be a good start to see what agencies are awarding grants for the type of project you would like to have funded.
  7. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    First of all, grant's don't just come from taxpayers. Corporations, philanthropic organizations and trusts, etc., dole out probably billions every year using the grant process.

    Second, the grant process (using tax dollars) allows a funded mandate or funds appropriated thru legislation to be distributed to those who apply, rather than just disbursed with zero accountability. For example, a State grant around school disaster preparedness might have certain goals, like improving shelters (for severe weather), or communications. Via the grant process, districts would have to apply and show they have a need, and a plan, and follow up with accountability on how the money was spent. The grant process would score these against pre-determined criteria to best utilize taxpayer dollars. Funds not spent are, well, not spent. Isn't that a better use of taxpayer dollars than just dumping it in a pool? Additionally, many grants are "matching" grants, and require a percentage to be contributed, some "skin in the game", if you will. Sometimes this is actually funded via a bake sale (been there), and leverages the bake sale contributed dollars.

    Third of all, who do you think is going to be funding a bake sale? Taxpayers, right? Taxpayers who (hopefully) listen to the need, weigh it against other priorities, and make a choice on whether to fund it or not. Kinda like the grant process...
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  8. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many state grants and particularly those in a state like California are awarded by the state legislature based frequently on who you know or how influential (read - well-connected and politically motivated) you are and how much th grant can 'buy' for a politician. California, which based on your callsign I assume you live, awarded over $6 million in unaccounted grant money in 2017 and most of that was garnered by politically connected groups.
  9. WW2E

    WW2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    The OP referred specifically to a FEMA grant, funded by taxpayers. You have introduced a straw man argument by referring to corporate grants.

    There's a world of difference between paying taxes, which we are required to do by law, and buying something voluntarily at a bake sale. You cannot conflate the two; there is no moral equivalence.

    No, a bake sale is nothing whatsoever like the grant process. Government grants involve the transfer of other people's wealth (via tax revenues) to people or organizations that are determined worthy by government bureaucrats. A bake sale is a wholly voluntary transaction between two individuals.

    I hope this brief commentary resolves your misconceptions.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
    N2EY likes this.
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great explanation . The government at any level has zero money it has not appropriated in some manner from the taxpayers can be called taxes, user fees, grants etc. they do however own a large printing press.

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