Valley localities receive grant money for emergency preparedness

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that Virginia has received $2.7 million in federal emergency management funds to be split among more than 140 localities throughout the state.

The money was secured through Local Emergency Management Performance Grants, which are federal funds given to localities by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The purpose of the money, according to a release from the governor’s office, is for localities to plan and respond to area emergencies. It is a non-competitive, annual allocation, said Amanda Reidelbach, director of external affairs for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Localities receive the funds each year from the Department of Homeland Security, according to the release.

Shenandoah County will receive $23,509, Warren County will receive $7,500 and Frederick County will receive $16,297.

“It’s an annual allocation that’s made to local governments to support local emergency management programs,” she said. “This is some of the most flexible funding for local emergency managers to use. They are allowed to choose where they want to use it in their locality. They can use it for enhancement for their emergency operations center or training or exercises or personnel costs.”

Reidelbach also explained that there is a minimum amount bestowed to all localities, and additional funds are allocated based on population.

“It’s about having a robust prepared emergency management program specific to a locality,” she said. “It’s about maintaining emergency management readiness, keeping a locality prepared for emergency, for disasters and supporting planning.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com