Feb. 11, 2014
Governor Terry McAuliffe declares a state of emergency, authorizing state agencies to be ready to assist local governments in responding to the major snow storm that is forecast to hit Virginia starting Wednesday.
“Now is the time for Virginia to get ready for this storm,” said Gov. 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."
The state is preparing for the storm by adding people to coordinate response teams, treating roads, authorizing up to 300 National Guard personnel to support operations, add State Police troopers and extend shifts.
Officials say 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 3-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.
- 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 www.211virginia.org.