An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Emergency Support Team (VEST) Status Orange, Partial Support

VEOC Activation Status: Orange, Partial Support

Introduction

This reference guide is intended to enhance communications on state and federal assistance programs that may be available before, during and after a disaster.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s (VDEM) role is to support local governments, state agencies, tribal governments, and certain private non-profit organizations in bridging known capability gaps, enhancing security, or building resilience. VDEM is the state administrating agency primarily through grants from the U.S Department of Homeland Security, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Grant Management and Recovery Programs Division is the lead for grant administration.

VDEM’s role is also to assist in evaluating the impacts of the disaster, and whether certain thresholds are met to receive federal assistance in the Commonwealth. VDEM also coordinates with Volunteer Agencies Active in Disasters to support local needs that do not meet federal qualifying factors. VDEM has established regional offices across seven regions of the state to support response and recovery efforts. Each region has a Chief Regional Coordinator who is available to support in coordination with our Recovery Office at VDEM Headquarters in Richmond. The goal is to keep you informed, so that you may manage the expectations of your community and constituents. Not all disasters rise to the level of federal assistance.

Figure 1: VDEM regional staff is the state’s first level of response during an incident in each of the seven regions.

Some of the assistance programs are in the form of grants, and some are in the form of loans. The majority of programs that VDEM supports are grants. Grants are like stories, with a beginning, middle, and end. Grants have a defined timeline in which they need to be completed, and along the way sufficient documentation (the story) needs to be provided to ensure that the federal program requirements established by congress, and the grants management requirements are met. VDEM provides support to help guide you through implementing your grant objectives. The importance of submission of timely quarterly reports helps VDEM identify what is going well, and areas where you may need assistance. All of VDEM grant programs are based on a reimbursement concept, for which the sub-recipient incurs the cost and then submits for reimbursement. VDEM can only reimburse costs that meet grant program requirements.

Stay current on grant opportunities, and register for grant alerts by visiting https://www.vaemergency.gov/divisions/finance/grants/

Non-Disaster, Federal Funded

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities

Intent

The intent of the grant, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), is to support states, local communities, tribes, and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from natural hazards. BRIC replaced the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program. BRIC is a nationally competitive program. Eligible project types include:

  • Capability- and Capacity-Building Activities
  • Residential Mitigation Projects
  • Wildfire and Wind Retrofit Projects
  • Nature-Based Infrastructure Projects
  • Nature-Based Flood Protection Projects
  • Technical Assistance Projects
  • Earthquake Early Warning System Projects

Local Qualification Factors

  • Local government must have a FEMA approved, and locally adopted Hazard Mitigation Plan at the time of application, and at the time of grant award
    • The plan must have the identified project as a mitigation strategy within the plan.
  • Local government must be participating in, and in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • These projects can take several years to implement, and you will want to make sure you have a robust project team and financial structure to administer.
  • No construction can take place until the grant is approved by FEMA
  • Changes in approved scope of must be requested and approved advance of incurring an expense.
  • This is a reimbursement program, and quarterly reports will be required until the project is closed.

Emergency Management Performance Grant

Intent

The purpose of the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program is to provide Federal funds to states to assist state and local governments in preparing for all hazards. The EMPG Program supports a comprehensive, all-hazard emergency preparedness system by building and sustaining the core capabilities contained in the Goal.

Local Qualification Factors

  • Local governments that meet the definition of Political Subdivision in the Code of Virginia Emergency Services Disaster Laws, 44.146.16 will receive a minimum allocation of $7,500

“Any city or county in the Commonwealth and, for the purposes of this chapter, the Town of Chincoteague and any town of more than 5,000 population that chooses to have an emergency management program separate from that of the county in which such town is located.”

  • Local governments that have a population over 50,000 receive additional funding through a formula calculation.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • Local government will be required to create a scope of work and budget for the funds over the period of performance of the grant.
  • Quarterly reporting is required, and reimbursement requests should be submitted on a regular basis.
  • Changes in approved scope of must be requested and approved advance of incurring an expense.
  • Local governments will have 21 months to complete their project.

Flood Mitigation Assistance

Intent

The intent of the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA) is to provide funding for projects to either reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FMA is a nationally competitive program. Eligible project types include:

  • Individual Flood Mitigation Projects
    • Property Acquisition and Structure Demolition or Relocation
    • Structure Elevation
    • Mitigation Reconstruction
    • Dry Floodproofing (non-residential structures)
    • Infrastructural, Structural, and Non-Structural Retrofitting
    • Soil Stabilization
  • Community Flood Mitigation Projects
  • Flood Mitigation Planning Activities
  • Project Scoping
  • Technical Assistance
  • Management Costs

Local Qualification Factors

  • Local government must have a FEMA approved, and locally adopted Hazard Mitigation Plan at the time of application, and at the time of grant award
    • The plan must have the identified project as a mitigation strategy within the plan.
  • Local government must be participating in, and in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program
  • The project scope of work must benefit (protect) NFIP insured properties

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • These projects can take several years to implement, and you will want to make sure you have a robust project team and financial structure to administer.
  • No construction can take place until the grant is approved by FEMA
  • Changes in approved scope of must be requested and approved advance of incurring an expense.
  • This is a reimbursement program, and quarterly reports will be required until the project is closed.

 

 

Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning Grant

Intent

The Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning (HMEP) grant program is designed to allow states the flexibility to implement training and planning programs that address differing needs for each location based on demographics, emergency response capabilities, commodity flow studies, and hazard analysis.

 

Local Qualification Factors

This grant program is administered by VDEM, and the Response Programs Division and the Training, Education, and Exercise Division deliver hazardous materials training to local and regional teams. Funds are not directly awarded to local governments.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

Additional training of local/regional hazardous materials teams.

 

 

Non-Profit Security Grant Program

Intent

The Non-Profit Security Grant Program (NSGP) focuses on enhancing the ability of nonprofits, to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks. The NSGP provides funding for physical security enhancements and other security-related activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack.

 

Local Qualification Factors

Allowable costs are focused on security-related activities. Funding can be used for contracted security personnel; security-related planning, exercises, and training; and the acquisition and installation of security equipment (including improvements) on real property (including buildings) owned or leased by the nonprofit organization at the time of application.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • No construction can take place until the grant is approved by FEMA
  • Changes in approved scope of must be requested and approved advance of incurring an expense.
  • This is a reimbursement program, and quarterly reports will be required until the project is closed.

State Homeland Security Program

Intent

The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) supports state and local efforts to prevent terrorism and to prepare Virginia for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to its security. Through SHSP, VDEM will be allocates funding to implement investments that build, sustain, and deliver FEMA’s 32 core capabilities essential to achieving the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient Nation. Building, sustaining, and delivering core capabilities are not exclusive to any single level of government, organization, or community, but rather, require the combined effort of the whole community. SHSP funds a range of activities, including planning, organization, equipment purchase, training, exercises, and management and administration across all core capabilities and mission areas. SHSP offers competitive and non-competitive programs.

Local Qualification Factors

The funding priorities and investment areas listed below include the National Priorities and Commonwealth of Virginia Priorities (which include the 6 National Priorities). The six (6) FY 2022 investment areas that have been proposed as National Priorities by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prior to the release of the NOFO are listed below. The nine (9) FY 2022 Commonwealth of Virginia SHSP Priorities were determined by an analysis of state-wide and regional security capability gaps through the Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA), Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR), and the Local Capability Assessment Report (LCAR).

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • Quarterly reporting is required, and reimbursement requests should be submitted on a regular basis.
  • Changes in approved scope of must be requested and approved advance of incurring an expense
  • Local governments will have 21 months to complete their project

Hampton Roads Urban Area Security Initiative

Intent

The Hampton Roads Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Program assists high-threat, high-density Urban Areas in efforts to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. The HR-UASI program is intended to provide financial assistance to address the unique multi-discipline planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density Urban Areas, and to assist these areas in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism using the Whole Community approach. The Hampton Roads Urban Area Working Group makes recommendations to VDEM each year on the projects to be funded from HR-UASI.

Local Qualification Factors

The following are the five priority areas:

  1. Enhancing cybersecurity
  2. Enhancing the protection of soft targets/crowded places
  3. Enhancing information and intelligence sharing and analysis, and cooperation with federal agencies, including DHS
  4. Combating domestic violent extremism
  5. Addressing emergent threats (e.g., transnational criminal organizations, unmanned aircraft systems [UASs], weapons of mass destruction [WMD], etc.)

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • Quarterly reporting is required, and reimbursement requests should be submitted on a regular basis.
  • Changes in approved scope of must be requested and approved advance of incurring an expense
  • Local governments will have 21 months to complete their project

Non-Disaster, State Funded

Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program

Intent

The Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program (REPP) is established in §44-146.33 of the Code of Virginia, to support the activities of state agencies and the local governments in establishing, maintaining and operating such emergency plans, programs and capabilities to deal with nuclear accidents as are required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency with respect to nuclear power station. Funding is provided through Dominion Energy.

Local Qualification Factors

Funding will be allocated to jurisdictions that meet the following criteria

  • Host Jurisdiction – Local government in which the nuclear power plant is physically located
  • Risk Jurisdiction – Local government within a 10 mile plume from the physical location of a nuclear power plant.
  • Ingestion Pathway Jurisdiction – Jurisdictions located within a 50 mile plume from the physical location of a nuclear power plant.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • Local governments meeting the definition of Ingestion Pathway Jurisdictions may roll over annual allocations (funding) over a 5 year period.
  • Local governments meeting the definition of a Risk or Host Jurisdiction may roll over annual allocations (funding) over a 2 year period.

State Shelter Upgrade Fund

Intent

Funding for this program was authorized under §44-146.29:3, Code of Virginia. Moneys in the fund shall be used solely for the purposes of providing matching funds to localities to install, maintain, or repair infrastructure related to backup energy generation for emergency shelters, including solar energy generators, and to improve the hazard-specific structural integrity (wind retrofit) of shelter facilities owned by the locality.

Local Qualification Factors

Funding priorities:

  • Project supports/protects vulnerable and marginalized populations
  • Project is a long term risk based solution
  • Localities that submit applications for their primary shelter solutions will have priority.
  • Project identifies alternative solutions

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

  • Local governments will have 18 months to complete the project
  • Changes in approved scope of must be requested and approved advance of incurring an expense.
  • This is a reimbursement program

Disaster, Federal Funded

Assistance programs are broken up into two categories, assistance that can directly support citizens and their households following a disaster (referred to as individual assistance (IA)), and programs that assist your community with public expenditures and damage to public buildings and infrastructure (referred to as public assistance (PA)). There may also be an opportunity for hazard mitigation grants, to reduce the future risk of disasters in your community. Some of the assistance programs are in the form of grants, and some are in the form of loans.

Damage Assessment

Before VDEM can determine what type of assistance may be available to your community, a damage assessment must be conducted. As identified in the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, initial damage assessments (IDA) are requested to be submitted to VDEM within 72 hours of the incident. VDEM has purchased a statewide license for the Crisis Track mobile application to organize and perform your initial damage assessment, which requires no additional costs to your community. This gives your community and VDEM instant visibility of the damage impacts and cost estimates. In the COVID-19 environment, this is even more important as damage assessments will be conducted by the federal agencies virtually. If you or your staff require just in time training on crisis track or need technical support, please visit the regional support webpage.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Intent

To support cost effective projects that reduce the long term risk to life and property across the Commonwealth. This program is available after a Major Disaster Declaration is declared in Virginia. Virginia receives 15% of total funds distributed to Virginia under the federal disaster relief fund for this program.

 

Local Qualification Factors

Your community has to be included in one of the regional hazard mitigation plans that has been approved by FEMA, and adopted locally. The proposed project must be included in your local hazard mitigation plan. If the proposed project is in a FEMA identified floodplain, then the community must be participating and in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

This program could take 5-7 years to implement. The application phase of this program is 12 months, and then FEMA may take 6-18 months to award the project based on environmental and historic review compliance or technical feasibility review. Federal assistance is approved at 75% of the total eligible project costs.

Individual Assistance

Intent

FEMA evaluates each locality’s eligibility for IA based on six factors listed below. The damage assessment process informs many of these factors. Uninsured Home and Personal Property Losses is the largest influence on an IA declaration. This program requires a federal declaration by the president, through FEMA following the request of the Governor.

Local Qualification Factors

The FEMA IA declaration process is more of an art than a science, and is more of a subjective decision process by FEMA. If approved, citizens that did not have insurance will be able to apply directly to FEMA for assistance for repairs sustained to their homes.

  1. State Fiscal Capacity and Resource Availability
  2. Uninsured Home and Personal Property Losses
  3. Disaster Impacted Population Profile
  4. Impact to Community Infrastructure
  5. Casualties
  6. Disaster Related Unemployment

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

Individuals have 60 days from the date of Individual Assistance declaration to register for assistance. FEMA may extend the registration period when VDEM requests more time to collect registrations from the affected population. It should be noted that the maximum amount of assistance available through the IA program to a property owner is limited to $36,000. In the COVID-19 environment, FEMA will allow for phone and online registration and applications – but typically they would open a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in your community. DRCs could be open for several months depending on the magnitude of the disaster. Individuals that receive FEMA assistance, will be required to purchase and maintain flood insurance (if flooding was the cause of the damage). VDEM’s regional support staff would be available to assist in coordinating the DRC location.

Public Assistance

Intent

The Public Assistance program provide reimbursement to state agencies, local governments, tribal governments, and eligible private non-profit organizations for disaster related expenditures or damages including debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities, and parks and recreational facilities. This program only covers uninsured and eligible losses in accordance with FEMA’s Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide. Federal assistance is limited to 75% of the eligible costs.

Local Qualification Factors

VDEM has to ensure that cities and counties have sustained damages that meet or exceed $4.10 per capita in uninsured eligible costs (this can include costs from other state agencies and eligible private non-profit organizations with facilities within the city or county). Town costs are included in county estimates.

In addition to the local threshold, the total disaster costs across the Commonwealth must meet or exceed the $14.06M threshold for federal assistance. This is verified through the joint preliminary damage assessment process with VDEM and FEMA. If the Commonwealth threshold is not met, then FEMA cannot provide federal assistance.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

FEMA PA program could take years to be fully reimbursed for disaster related expenditures. FEMA will set up a Joint Field Office (JFO) with VDEM to process grant applications under this program. In the COVID-19 environment, a virtual JFO has been stood up. All documentation will be required to be submitted electronically through FEMA’s Grants Portal. VDEM often seeks contract support to implement disaster operations under this program. Your locality will have 30 days from the federal declaration to submit your Request for Public Assistance in the FEMA Grants Portal. Your locality will be required to identify all of your damages in the form of a damage inventory within 60 days of your recovery scoping meeting with FEMA. With this being a federal grant program, quarterly reports, scope of work changes, and reimbursement requests must be submitted and carefully reviewed by VDEM. At the end of the disaster, actual costs must be verified or federal and state funding cannot support those expenditures.

Small Business Administration Loans

Intent

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a low interest loan program that helps people recover from disasters and rebuild their lives by providing financial assistance to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes. This program requires a federal declaration by SBA following the request of the Governor.

Local Qualification Factors

There must be at least 25 structures (residential or commercial) that have uninsured losses totaling at least 40% of the fair market value of the structure. Secondary homes, condominium units, cabins, camps, lake homes, etc., used for recreational purposes cannot be included in this total, as they are not eligible for assistance. If your community does not meet this criteria, then your citizens may still be eligible if a contiguous jurisdiction meets the threshold. This criteria is verified through the damage assessment process.

 What to Expect If Program Is Approved

If approved, impacted citizens will be able to apply directly to the SBA for assistance. In the COVID-19 environment, SBA will have phone and online applications – but typically they would open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in your community.

Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Intent

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) will provide economic relief to small businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.

Local Qualification Factors

SBA will make an EIDL when: A Governor certifies that at least 5 small businesses in a disaster area have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster and are in need of financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms. VDEM coordinates with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Diversity Supply on identifying these businesses and the request for assistance.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

If approved, impacted business owners will be able to apply directly to the SBA for assistance. In the COVID-19 environment, SBA will have phone and online applications.

 

Disaster, State Funded

State Public Assistance Program

Intent

The State Public Assistance (State PA) Program provides reimbursements to state and local governments for disaster related expenditures eligible under the FEMA PA Program, but did not meet the statewide threshold for federal assistance. The federal requirement of insurance proceeds to be reduced from any eligible cost remains a requirement in the State PA program.

Local Qualification Factors

Per state code, VDEM has to ensure that cities and counties have sustained damages that meet or exceed $4 per capita in uninsured eligible costs. Any town with a total population of less than 3,500 shall be eligible for disaster assistance for incurred eligible damages of $15,000 or greater and (ii) any town with a population of 3,500 or more, but less than 5,000 shall be eligible for disaster assistance for incurred eligible damages of $20,000 or greater and (iii) any town with a population of 5,000 or greater with total eligible costs of $4 or more per capita may receive assistance. This can only include costs sustained by the locality, state agency costs to not count towards the total. This is verified through the damage assessment process. The locality also has to demonstrate a financial hardship, and that they do not have the means to cover the disaster related expenditures. This is a program of last resort, and funding is at the Governor’s discretion.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

Disaster documentation can be submitted through vdem.emgrants.com, VDEM’s disaster grants management portal. Since the State PA funds come out of state general funds in the form of sum-sufficient, VDEM has to submit a decision brief to the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) outlining the disaster related costs and needs of the locality. DPB then makes a recommendation to the Governor, who has the final discretion on the approval of funding under this program. If approved, the local government will receive a cost share reimbursement, the amount of which is determined by the Counsel of Local Governments Fiscal Stress Index. Which is anywhere from 60-75% of the total costs.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund

Intent

The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund (VDRF) is as a “tool of last resort” when other state, federal, or private aid is not available to assist victims of disasters. Anyone can donate to the Fund, including individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, etc. Donations are tax deductible. Amount of funding is dependent on donations.

Local Qualification Factors

Individual homeowners are not eligible to apply, however the following applicant organizations may apply on behalf of the homeowner: donor designated charitable organizations, local/regional long term recovery groups, other charitable or faith-based organizations, Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) member organizations.

  1. The applicant organization must demonstrate that a request for the VDRF grant is the only way to assist the disaster household for the identified need.
  2. The applicant organization must have collaborated with the locality and/or local partner volunteer organizations to perform a thorough case-management evaluation of an individual’s or disaster household’s recovery situation, considering all options to fulfill unmet needs; AND
  3. An applicant organization must solicit a letter of support from the locality’s emergency manager or designated representative describing what steps have been taken to fulfill the individual or disaster household’s unmet needs.

What to Expect If Program Is Approved

This is a program of last resort after all other sources of assistance have been exhausted. Available funding is dependent on balance of the VDRF. Applications are submitted to VDEM, and an advisory committee that includes representatives from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Department of Social Services, and Virginia VOAD review the grant applications. The State Coordinator at VDEM makes the final decision on funding. The last disaster that this fund was used for was the Mineral Earthquake in 2011.