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Governor McAuliffe declares State of Emergency for winter storm response

snow-plow-headerGovernor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency today, an action that authorizes state agencies to assist local governments in responding to the winter storm that is sweeping across the commonwealth today through tomorrow morning and is expected to blanket many parts of the state with 3-14 inches of snow.

In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia. This action does not apply to individuals or private businesses.

“This storm could bring difficult travel and widespread power outages for the next few days,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Please postpone travel during the storm, charge up your mobile devices so you can stay in touch and take time to check on your neighbors in case they need help.”

To prepare for the storm:

  • The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has additional response team members to coordinate the state’s response to the storm.
  • The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating conference calls between the National Weather Service, state agencies and local governments.
  • VDOT crews are out in force to treat and plow roads. Their goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after the winter storm ends. Roads with the highest traffic volumes are cleared first. VDOT has adequate supplies for this storm.
  • The Virginia National Guard is standing by to support emergency response operations as needed.
  • Virginia State Police has extended shifts and have additional troopers on patrol to expedite response times to traffic crashes and disabled motorists.

 

Citizens should:

  • Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
  • A three-day supply of food includes a gallon of water per person per day and food that does not require electricity to prepare it.
  • Have a battery powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries for emergency information.  Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
  • Always run generators outside in well-ventilated areas. Never use a portable generator in any enclosed or partially enclosed space.
  • Only travel if absolutely necessary. Roads can become very hazardous very quickly.  Always wear a seatbelt, and know road conditions before you leave. Road condition information is available 24/7 by calling 511 or going to www.511Virginia.org
  • Have emergency supplies in your vehicle. If you are stranded you will need water, food, blankets, flashlight and extra batteries at a minimum.
  • Avoid overexertion while shoveling snow and cleaning up from the storm, no matter your age or physical condition. Shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
  • If you need help for an elderly or disabled person during the storm, need information on warming shelters or are concerned about an unsheltered individual or family, call 211. A trained professional will suggest sources of help using one of the largest databases of health and human services in your community and statewide.
  • Get winter weather preparedness information at www.ReadyVirginia.gov and download the new Ready Virginia app for iPhones and Android devices.