An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Emergency Support Team (VEST) Status Green, Steady State

VEOC Activation Status: Green, Steady State

VDEM Opens Application Period for FY 21 Emergency Shelters Upgrade Assistance Grant Fund

This update was published by Communications
Published: October 30, 2020

RICHMOND –The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) announced today that it is opening the application period for the FY21 Emergency Shelters Upgrade Assistance Grant Fund (Shelter Upgrade Fund).  This is a new funding source that was approved as a result of Senate Bill 350, introduced by Senator Lucas, which went into effect July 1, 2020.  The General Assembly approved $2,500,000 for this grant fund in state FY 21.   The Shelter Upgrade 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.

“It is vitally important to maintain support for our local emergency shelters and backup energy infrastructure,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “I would like to thank Governor Northam and the General Assembly for continuing to prioritize funding for emergency management across the Commonwealth.” 

“This funding opportunity will improve the local sheltering capability across the Commonwealth” said Curtis Brown, VDEM State Coordinator. “We encourage local governments to review and prioritize shelters applications that can protect the most vulnerable Virginian’s.”  

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.  This will be verified by Local Capabilities Assessment Report (LCAR) submissions.
  • Project identifies alternative solutions

Who Can Apply? 

Local governments, as defined as political subdivisions in the Emergency Services and Disaster Laws §44-146.16 “any city or county in the Commonwealth and, for the purposes of this chapter, the Town of Chincoteague, West Point, 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.”

Application Submission

All project applications, and supporting documentation, must be submitted through the application portal  by February 1, 2021 at 5pm.  

Program Guidelines

For more information on the application process and eligibility criteria, please visit or contact  


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

Agency Contact

Director of Communications and Chief Agency Spokesperson