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Virginia Beach prepares for potential disaster with $15k grant

Homes were damaged and condemned after a tornado passed through the Rock Creek neighborhood on March 31, 2017. (Adrienne Mayfield/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Virginia Beach was awarded $15,000 in grant money aimed at preparing the city for disaster — both natural and man made.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that Virginia Beach is one of 28 Virginia localities to receive a Supplemental Local Emergency Management Performance Grant. The program, which requires a locality to pay to match the grant, aims to better prepare communities to respond to disasters when they occur, according to a news release.

In total, on Thursday the Virginia Department of Emergency Management awarded $420,000 in emergency preparedness funds throughout the state. The funds were provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the release states.

“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,” Northam wrote in a news release.

The money was awarded for five types of uses:

  • Mass casualty equipment or supplies
  • Mass care equipment or supplies
  • Public alert, warning and notification systems
  • Civil disturbance joint planning, training or equipment
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) and hazardous materials (HAZMAT) equipment

Virginia Beach will be allowed to use the $15,000 for “mass care equipment or supplies,” which can include materials to assist people with access and functional needs, as well as the elderly, children, infants and pets, the release states.

Virginia Beach representatives did not return a request for comment about exactly how the money would be used by the time of publication.

Other Hampton Roads localities were also awarded grant funds:

  • York County: $30,000 for CBRNE/HAZMAT equipment
  • Newport News: $29,000 for CBRNE/HAZMAT equipment
  • Hampton: $30,000 for mass care equipment and supplies
  • Portsmouth: $6,330 for public alert, warning and notification systems

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