Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the allocation of more than $6.1 million of federal grant programs to enhance emergency preparedness and security throughout the Commonwealth. The funds will be administered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to support a wide array of emergency preparedness and security operations, equipment replacement, training, planning and exercise programs by local governments.

"The inclusive and detailed grant review process, taking into account stakeholder expertise to understand the security needs facing communities across the Commonwealth, will allow us to use our limited grant funds to support the most critical needs facing our first responders,” said Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management received 139 grant requests totaling more than $12 million to compete for the competitive portion of the federal funds. Sixty-six projects were awarded a total of $2.5 million from competitive State Homeland Security Program funds.  Awards have funded a diverse group of programs such as community outreach and preparedness programs, interoperability efforts, railroad safety initiatives, sheltering programs, and active shooter exercises.

An additional $2.6 million was allocated in non-competitive grants from the this year’s State Homeland Security Program to fund 29 projects sustaining 12 hazardous materials teams, seven technical rescue teams, four incident management teams, four Virginia radio communications caches, and the Virginia Fusion Center. 

Last, $1 million was awarded to the Hampton Roads Urban Area Security Initiative (HR UASI), and an additional $75,000 was awarded to the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to allow hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations located within the HR UASI and recognized to be at an increased risk of terrorist attack.