RICHMOND, Va. – Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency today, an action that authorizes state agencies to be ready to assist local governments in responding to the major snow storm that is forecast to hit the Commonwealth starting tomorrow.
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.
“Now is the time for Virginia to get ready for this storm,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This state of emergency declaration will empower the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Transportation, the Virginia National Guard, and our electric and cable utilities to prepare for a storm that is predicted to create power outages and significant travel challenges across the Commonwealth over the next few days.
“Just as state government is preparing for this storm, I urge every Virginian to take proper preparations. Prepare to limit unnecessary travel during the storm, have emergency supplies on hand and be ready in the event that power in your area goes out.”
As of 4 p.m., the National Weather Service has declared a "winter storm watch" for Fauquier County, anticipating "five or more" inches of snow Wednesday evening and Thursday.
The governor urged residents to get ready to take care of their households for at least 72 hours, in case of blocked roads and power outages.
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 or visit http://www.211virginia.org
. When you 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 http://www.ReadyVirginia.gov
and download the new Ready Virginia app for iPhones and Android devices.