RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) notified the City of Chesapeake and the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission this week that two grant applications they submitted as part of the 2016 Homeland Security Grant review process had been picked to move forward. The projects are being paid for with additional funding made available when other Homeland Security Grant projects came in under budget.
In September 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that $5.7 million in federal funds were awarded to pay for 99 projects to enhance emergency preparedness and security throughout the Commonwealth. VDEM administered the funds to support local government’s emergency preparedness and security operations, equipment replacement, training, planning and exercise programs. The grants were awarded after a lengthy stakeholder-driven process to help prioritize them based upon need and a cost-benefit analysis. Old Dominion University assisted with scoring the proposals.
VDEM received 143 grant requests totaling more than $16 million for these grants. Only $2.6 million was available to allocate to localities from this year’s State Homeland Security Program (SHSP). Additionally, more than $555,000 was re-programmed from the National Capital Region Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grant programs to fund 7 projects.
Once those 99 projects were funded, several were completed under their anticipated budget through sound grant management by VDEM and the localities. The additional funding will be allocated to the City of Chesapeake for Flammable Liquid Firefighting Training for Chesapeake’s Foam Team ($100,401) and to the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission to support Central Virginia Regional Emergency Management Planning ($103,400).
“Virginia has seen a 70 percent reduction in Federal grants to for emergency management and homeland security to since 2008, requiring us to be more strategic in how money is allocated in order to sustain our basic response capabilities,” said Dr. Jeff Stern, VDEM’s State Coordinator. “We asked our public safety partners from around the state to determine the priorities for this year’s grant process, and nearly 150 local leaders from emergency management, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and EMS participated as peer-reviewers to grade and rank projects. With our common understanding of the importance of stretching these funds, VDEM and our local partners have successfully managed these funds in a way to move additional projects forward. ”
VDEM works with local government, state and federal agencies and voluntary organizations to provide resources and expertise through the five mission areas of emergency management; prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. To learn more about ways VDEM is working to improve disaster preparedness, response and recovery, visit www.vaemergency.gov.
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