The Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants to ensure that communities throughout the state are prepared for natural disasters. With that in mind, IEMA has awarded $4-million in Emergency Management Performance Grants to counties and cities in the region. St. Clair and Madison Counties will receive the most funding with both receiving more than $64,000 to fund day-to-day operations of local emergency management programs. Other counties and cities to receive funding in the metro-east include Montgomery, Jersey, Calhoun and Bond counties and Granite City.

IEMA also announced plans Thursday to provide dozens of training courses, emergency response exercise support and emergency planning assistance to first responders across the state. Those additional educational aspects will be funded by a federal Emergency Management Performance Grant.

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