Warner, Kaine announce $18 million in anti-terrorism funding for Virginia

congressU.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced that Virginia will receive federal preparedness grants totaling more than $18 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help combat terrorism and respond to other disasters and emergencies. The funding was made available through grant programs run by DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA also allocated over $53 million to the National Capital Region, which includes Northern Virginia, as part of the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assist them in enhancing their capacity to prevent terrorism. In February, Warner and Kaine announced that DHS would be awarding this funding and today’s announcement marks the final allocation.

“As a former Governor, I understand the importance of providing states and localities with critical resources for emergency response and disaster management so we can safeguard Virginians from all forms of threats,” said Senator Warner. “These federal funds will give our local and state partners the tools they need so that when they are faced with the challenge of protecting us, they will be well-equipped to keep us safe when we need them most.”

“These homeland security grants will increase Virginia’s ability to prevent and respond to emergencies, from counterterrorism measures to natural disasters,” Kaine said. “As the threats to the United States continue to evolve, including from increasingly decentralized networks and individuals, it is paramount that the federal government provide adequate resources to state and local organizations that help keep Virginia communities safe.”

Under today’s announcement, Virginia entities will receive the following funds through DHS’s preparedness grant programs:

  • State Homeland Security Program: $7,445,500
  • Emergency Management Performance Grant Program: $8,037,289
  • Port Security Grant Program: $2,392,383
  • Intercity Bus Program: $128,185

In addition to the funding awarded directly to Virginia, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will receive $11.5 million as part of UASI’s Transit Security Grant Program, a significant increase above last year’s award of $4.3 million. The Transit Security Grant Program provides funds to the nation’s high-threat urban areas for enhancement of security measures at critical transit hubs, including bus, ferry and rail systems.

Virginia will receive $7.4 million under the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), which is part of FEMA’s broader Homeland Security Grant Program that supports preparedness activities in states and urban areas.  SHSP provides funding to support the implementation of state homeland security strategies to address identified planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.

Virginia will also receive $8.04 million as part of FEMA’s Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program.  EMPG provides funding to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in obtaining the resources and the necessary direction, guidance, and coordination to create a comprehensive emergency preparedness system for all hazards.

More information on DHS’s FEMA preparedness grants is available here.

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