Homeland Security Grant Program

VDEM staff administers a number of grant and funding programs, which are available to local governments. These funding opportunities generally follow the four phases of emergency management and can be used to enhance overall preparedness and response capabilities for a full range of hazards.  To streamline funding to states and territories, the Department of Homeland Security consolidated administration of three programs within the Office of Domestic Preparedness: State Homeland Security Program, Citizen Corps and Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Programs.

VDEM's Homeland Security grants department works with federal, state and local officials to streamline coordination of the grant application process and the administration of these programs Homeland Security Grant Programs.

2007 Department of Homeland Security Grant Award

In August, the Department of Homeland Security notified Virginia that its 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program award would be $25,277,742.  While this is 33 percent more than the 2006 SHSGP award, it is less than Virginia requested.  Although it is typical that states do not receive the full requested amount, some difficult choices had to be made.

The local, state and nonprofit stakeholders who made up the 2007 Homeland Security Stakeholders Group, which developed the original submission, were involved in identifying how each project could be scaled back but still advance Virginia’s preparedness goals.

The Working Group developed a recommendation for distributing the funds across the various investments, outlined in the 12 projects listed below.

  1. Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program and Statewide Training Program –This investment will produce two new regional exercises and one statewide exercise each year.  A portion of this investment will also be used for National Incident Management System and terrorism training, to ensure that participants can attend the classes at no charge and that their travel costs will be reimbursed. 
  2. Outreach – Ready Virginia – The Ready Virginia campaign will unite local, state and national preparedness efforts.  Ready Virginia will use a combination of free and paid advertising, public relations, Internet and grassroots efforts to reach a diverse audience. 
  3. Citizen Preparedness and Protection – This investment will facilitate citizen participation in exercises, implement volunteer programs and conduct evaluations of citizen training.  In addition, this investment provides base funding for localities to purchase and operate citizen alert system such as Reverse 911 or Roam Secure.  Also, the Citizen Corps Program, to include the Community Emergency Response Team. 
  4. Metropolitan Medical Response Systems – This funding supports designated jurisdictions to further enhance a regionally integrated, systematic mass casualty incident preparedness program during the first crucial hours of an incident.  Virginia's eligible regions are Arlington County and the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond and Virginia Beach. 
  5. Enhance Response Capabilities to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Incidents– This investment allows localities to ensure locally trained teams have specific types of equipment to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents. 
  6. Statewide Interoperability Communications – This funding will allow Virginia to build upon its highly successful investment in radio caches and related equipment by creating smaller caches in central and southwestern Virginia.  This investment will also complete a survey to determine the expansion of WebEOC and the next steps in its use. 
  7. Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources Protection Program – This investment supports the First Responder Authentication Credential smart cards now issued to employees and contractors in Northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads area.  It also provides training on the Automated Critical Asset Management System for more than 300 local law enforcement officers. 
  8. Law Enforcement Operations
    • Law Enforcement Information Exchange: The LInX data system, currently available in 10 percent of Virginia localities, will provide local law enforcement officers with secure access to regional crime and incident data, as well as the tools to process that information. 
    • Computer Evidence Recovery Units: This investment will complete the installation and training of 11 local law enforcement Computer Evidence Recovery Units across the state, providing regional backup to the Virginia State Police CERU and cutting evidence turnaround time by half. 
    • Bomb Squad Robots: The National Bomb Squad Commanders Advisory Board has mandated bomb squad robots for all bomb squad teams in order to retain accreditation, beginning in 2009.  The cities of Alexandria and Richmond, Henrico County and the Virginia State Police will receive this investment for the equipment and training required for robotic bomb disposal. 
  9. Emergency Medical Services Registry – The proposed Emergency Medical Services Registry will be an Internet-based system that is accessible to first responders on a daily basis.  Linking all patient information, the registry will increase emergency response and efficiency during a major disaster. 
  10. Statewide Shelter Implementation (Local Mega Shelter Enhancements) – This investment supports state and local shelter enhancement projects.  It will enhance shelter use and maintenance during an evacuation and make state shelters more accessible to a wide range of potential evacuation populations. 
  11. Multi-state Investments
    • Interoperability Capability Assessment Baseline: This multi-state effort will identify opportunities for partnering among the Mid-Atlantic States, with the overall goal of avoiding duplicative costs, creating cooperative operations and improving interoperability across the region during disasters. 
    • Multi-state Mass Care and Evacuation Planning: Virginia will join with Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and the District of Columbia to establish a coordinated catastrophic disaster plan.  The plan will build upon existing state and National Capital Region plans to develop a regional approach to evacuation and mass care. 
  12. Management and Administration – DHS allows the state to retain 5 percent from each grant program to monitor and audit all project awards outlined in this recommendation.  This funding is spread over the three active years of this award.