In July 2002 the President approved the National Strategy for Homeland Security, a road map for the national effort to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism in the United States. The National Strategy recognizes the vital role of state and local public safety agencies in providing for the security of our homeland. In February 2003 the President signed into law the Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Act which provides state and local governments with the vital funding they require to participate in the national effort to combat terrorism. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) FY 2003 Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) reflects a confluence of important Presidential initiatives designed to enhance the preparedness of the nation to combat terrorism. Whereas most states and municipalities have strengthened their overall capability to respond to acts of terrorism involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) weapons, there continues to be room for improvement in meeting our national priorities of preventing and responding to terrorist attacks. The Office for Domestic Preparedness is providing financial assistance directly to selected jurisdictions through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 Urban Areas Security Initiative. This financial assistance is being provided to address the unique equipment, training, planning and exercise needs of large high threat urban areas, and to assist them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism.