The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is announcing $1,792,748 in federal assistance for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Management Performance Grant Supplemental- Health Equity (EMPG-S). The EMPG-S funding was allocated to Virginia as a part of the CARES Act stimulus package in response to COVID-19.
“The grant program will continue the work of the COVID-19 Health Equity Taskforce’s effort to apply a statewide health equity lends to Commonwealth of Virginia’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts,” said Curtis Brown, State Coordinator for Emergency Management. The funding will increase the capability to support marginalized and at risk individuals and communities to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Clarifying Guidance for Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) and COVID-19 EMPG Supplemental (EMPG-S) Programs
Eligible Local Governments
Local governments identified for participation in EMPG-S program have participated in the Health Equity Pilot Program (HEPP), managed by VDEM, which has leveraged health equity data to facilitate the distribution of public health information and resources, such as masks and hand sanitizer, to underserved communities identified as highest risk for COVID-19 spread. 71 local governments have been identified, and the 67 participating in the HEPP were identified for consideration for EMPG-S. Through data analytics, 37 local emergency management programs were identified for EMPG-S funding. The data analytics, processed by the Health 360 tool and Deloitte, included the following indicators:
- Percentage of COVID-19 vulnerable population (individuals with 1 or more health conditions and income less than $30,000);
- Percentage of communities of color;
- fiscal stress index; and
- COVID-19 impact.
As a part of the data analysis, local governments were grouped into Cohorts, with summary data provided below.
Technical Assistance (Equity Integration)
VDEM is staffing two Equity Emergency Management Analyst positions that will provide guidance and support to local governments participating in the EMPG-S Health Equity Program. Participating local governments will be provided with ongoing Technical Assistance for integrating equity into their emergency management program supporting ongoing responses to COVID-19 and building resilience in at-risk communities. The support may include but not limited to:
- Equity Assessment and Social Vulnerability Analysis
- Tabletop Exercises (Virtual)
- Health Equity Data
- Guidance for creating equity related goals and objectives
- Provide support to help operationalize equity during community communication and outreach campaigns
Application Requirements and Eligible Activities
Each of the 37 local governments identified for FY20 EMPG-S funding will receive an allocation letter from VDEM this week. Local governments that accept the allocation, will be required to provide a proposed scope of work, budget, and milestones for each project. Those localities that do not wish to participate will have an “opt out” option for this allocation. Funds will be re-allocated to the next locality with the highest score in the prioritization process.
Each locality will be required to develop a work plan and budget that supports
1) preparedness and mitigation activities (related to slowing the spread of COVID-19);
2) integration of emergency management and public health resources.
The work plan should address the development of a communications campaign outlined below. The work plan cost centers are planning, organization, training, and exercise. Eligible FY20 EGMP-S activities may include the following:
- Development of a culturally tailored and relevant communications campaign to baseline and identify enhancements resulting in improved emergency response outcomes for marginalized populations in the COVID-19 environment
- Host community engagement events (such as virtual community town halls, etc.)
- Procurement of contractual support for work plan definition
- Completion of an equity assessment and social vulnerability analysis
- Completion of a community health/ needs assessment to help guide future response efforts (including vaccine uptake/administration)
- Equitably address emerging and immediate basic needs in diverse and under-resourced communities
- Build partnerships with community-based organizations who are trusted and have a history of serving disproportionately impacted communities
- co-host emergency preparedness activities
- co-host equity centered trainings and tabletop exercises
- co-host ongoing emergency preparedness seminars
- Support essential and front-line workers in high-risk places and job
- Create and implement mitigation activities related to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in at-risk and under-resources communities
- Procure supplies to support at-risk populations with disaster response and recovery
- Convene and build partnerships with diverse, and non-traditional organizations who serve trusted resources to marginalized communities
- Plan equitable testing events and conduct outreach for testing events