Every four years, jurisdictions are required to submit an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) to the state. City of Lexington, City of Buena Vista and Rockbridge County maintain a Regional EOP, which encompasses the three jurisdictions. By October 2018, the Regional Emergency Operations Plan must be approved by the jurisdictions and submitted to the Commonwealth.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awards block grants to the states titled as the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) serves as the HSGP sub-grantee of FEMA. The state titles its FEMA sub-grant as the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP). The SHSP funding is awarded to assist communities with emergency preparedness, emergency planning, and other emergency management projects, which promote and improve emergency readiness of a Virginia community.
Over the past months, Regional Emergency Management met to discuss the pending 2018 Regional EOP. During those meetings, the decision was made to bring the Regional EOP from a generalized document to a working document. To elevate an EOP to the level desired by the Regional Emergency Managers is a vast and complex process. Regional Emergency Managers determined that external partners and resources would be required to assist with the 2018 rewrite of the EOP documents. To facilitate that goal, the team decided to apply for SHSP grant funding.
On behalf of Rockbridge County, the City of Buena Vista and the City of Lexington, VDEM has awarded an $18,000 grant from the SHSP. The City of Lexington Emergency Management will serve as the fiduciary agent for this grant. The SHSP funding will greatly enhance the ability of Regional Emergency Management to bring the multi-jurisdictional EOP into the desired 21st Century living document.
The intention of Regional Emergency management is to allocate the SHSP funding to contract with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC). The CSPDC will assist with the revamp of the 2018 Regional EOP. The CSPDC is versed in emergency planning documentation and has previously assisted many jurisdictions with like endeavors. The SHSP grant funding will be utilized to offset the costs associated with the re-write of the EOP document.