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VDEM opens application period for Emergency Shelters Upgrade Assistance Grant Fund

Virginia Department of Emergency ManagementThe Virginia Department of Emergency Management is opening the application period for the fiscal year 2021 Emergency Shelters Upgrade Assistance Grant 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. The General Assembly approved $2.5 million 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 Gov. 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 shelter applications that can protect the most vulnerable Virginians.”

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 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 Feb. 1, 2021, at 5 p.m.

Program Guidelines

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