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Virginia announces $9.6 million in federal funds for homeland security grant awards

The funds will support emergency preparedness and security operations, equipment replacement, training, planning and exercise programs by local governments.

RICHMOND, Va. — In August, Governor Northam announced the culmination of a stakeholder-driven process to allocate more than $24 million through various federal grant programs to enhance emergency preparedness and security throughout the Commonwealth.

The funds will be administered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to support a wide array of emergency preparedness and security operations, equipment replacement, training, planning and exercise programs by local governments.

The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) is one of the six grant programs announced in August. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management received 126 grant requests totaling nearly $13.2 million to compete for the competitive portion of these federal funds. Fifty-four projects were awarded a total of $2.5 million from competitive SHSP funds.

The Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center at Old Dominion University manages the peer-review process conducted by Virginia’s public safety stakeholders for competitive grants, and scores proposals based upon benefit-cost ratios. Awards fund a diverse group of programs such as community outreach and preparedness programs, interoperability efforts, sheltering programs, equipment enhancement, and exercises.

“Federal emergency management and homeland security grants to Virginia have been cut by nearly 70 percent since 2008, emergency managers throughout Virginia have worked to become more strategic about allocating limited funding to meet the greatest needs,” said State Coordinator Jeff Stern. “Nearly 200 local leaders from emergency management, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and EMS representing communities throughout Virginia participated in evaluating potential projects to allocate this limited funding to do the most good."

As requested by the public safety stakeholders, an additional $3.9 million was allocated in non-competitive grants from this year’s State Homeland Security Program to fund 49 projects sustaining 12 hazardous materials teams, seven technical rescue teams, four incident management teams, five Virginia radio communications caches, 19 swift water and flood rescue teams, 2 unmanned aircraft systems teams and the Virginia Fusion Center. 

For the comprehensive list of projects awarded, click here.

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Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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