Homeland Security may strip Kansas City of more than $1.2 million in disaster money

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City is close to losing more than $1.2 million in Homeland Security money.
   
The funding at stake is money used to help first responders in the event of disasters like the Boston and the JJ's Restaurant explosions.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security suggested its money only be given to the top 25 U.S. cities deemed the most vulnerable to attack. Kansas City does not meet that mark, ranking in at 31.

Gene Shepherd, emergency manager for Kansas City, Mo., said that criteria is unfortunate because the money provides a fast, well-trained response and essential equipment for emergencies like JJ's, the Joplin tornado and a recent river rescue in the Missouri River.
    
Also, this week some of that money went to the emergency hazmat response in Boston.
    
If the federal government decides to strip Kansas City of that money, Shepherd said the city will suffer to a certain extent during disasters.    

"Those capabilities may deteriorate," Shepherd explained. "Either one of two things will happen: The local jurisdictions are going to have to pick up that added expense, and if not, those capabilities will diminish."   

Kansas City emergency operations will find out in the next couple weeks whether the city will lose the $1.2 million funding.

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