Virginia receives $7.4 million in HSGP funds for 2014

Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, announced on Wednesday that Virginia received $7.4 million in funds from the Homeland Security Grant Program for 2014, an increase in 15 percent from the previous year.

The grants for fiscal year 2014 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be used to strengthen the state's ability to mitigate, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from major disasters, terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

"This significant increase in federal homeland security grant funding will greatly improve Virginia's ability to keep our families, communities and economic assets safe," McAuliffe said. "As home to some of the world's largest military installations and critical government infrastructure, Virginia is a strategic partner in national defense and homeland security. These funds are vital to us as we plan and prepare for known and unknown threats."

Additionally, the National Capital and Hampton Roads regions will receive increased fiscal year 2014 funds as part of the Urban Area Security Initiative. UASI grants are provided for terrorism prevention and law enforcement and usually include exercises and training, lifecycle replacement of equipment and updates to current planning and procedures.

"We especially appreciate that the Hampton Roads region was added back in to the UASI program," McAuliffe said. "I salute the hard work of those with Hampton Roads governments and organizations as well as state agencies that made the case and developed the documentation to gain this crucial funding for sustaining regional preparedness initiatives."

Virginia develops its federal grant proposals after getting input from state and local governments, nonprofit organizations and other entities from throughout the state. The proposal identifies regional and statewide projects meant to improve the state's ability to plan for and respond to natural and man-made emergencies. The funds will be distributed to localities regionally.