~28 localities across the Commonwealth awarded competitive grants~
The Governor of Virginia recently announced that nearly $420,000 will be awarded to 28 localities across the Commonwealth as part of a competitive process under the Supplemental Local Emergency Management Performance Grant (SLEMPG) program. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) will administer the funds, which Virginia receives annually from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Localities received the news at the Virginia Emergency Management Symposium, a forum to train emergency responders, planners, managers and volunteers and to share best practices, lessons learned and initiatives among Virginia’s emergency management community. The symposium was held last week in Hot Springs, Virginia.
“Virginia is home to many important assets and facilities that require special security, therefore it is imperative we take a proactive approach to ensuring our localities are best equipped to handle any potential disaster,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “First responders make numerous sacrifices in pursuit of keeping the public safe, and grant programs such as these are valuable tools to assist these brave men and women with the safety measures they deserve.”
This grant program focuses on five key areas: mass casualty equipment or supplies; mass care equipment or supplies, including supplies for the elderly, children and infants, citizens with access or functional needs, sheltering supplies for pets; public alert, warning and notification systems; civil disturbance joint planning, training, or equipment; and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) and Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) equipment. This year’s competitive grant application process focused on projects that would create or enhance these capabilities.
“We have focused these competitive grant programs to enhance the resiliency of communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Brian Moran. “By partnering with first responders and emergency managers in these localities, we are able to target this grant funding to meet the most acute and highest value projects statewide.”
The SLEMPG funds enable enhancements to the Commonwealth’s preparedness for all types of disasters – natural or human-caused. The funds also allow communities to strengthen their capabilities to respond to the needs of their citizens and create a stronger, more prepared and more resilient Commonwealth.
“In the past four years, we have streamlined the way in which we award needed grant funding to localities on the front lines of keeping Virginians safe from manmade and natural disasters.” said Dr. Jeff Stern, Virginia’s State Coordinator of Emergency Management. “We continue to explore innovative ways to invest in the Commonwealth’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters.”
Localities were invited to submit proposals to support the priority areas for up to $30,000. Localities are required to provide a one-to-one local match for the each awarded project. A total of 47 projects were submitted by 37 localities.
-Submitted by Jeff Caldwell