State of Emergency: What Does It Mean?

Feb 12, 2014

The season’s first major snow storm is well on its way and as a result, Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency. 

A state of emergency means that state agencies are at the ready to assist local governments, and provide a quick response wherever and whenever they are needed in the state.

State agencies include the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Transportation and the Virginia National Guard, just to name a few. It also means electric, phone and cable utility companies are standing by to assist with any and all outages.

VDOT crews will be out in full force for snow removal as the storm arrives. Roads with the highest traffic volumes will be cleared first. 

The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 300 personnel on state active duty to support emergency response operations. 

The Virginia State Police will extend shifts and have additional troopers on patrol.

Governor McAuliffe was quick to urge Virginians to “take proper preparations. Prepare to limit unnecessary travel during the storm, have emergency supplies on hand and be ready in the of power outages.

While there is a long list of do’s and don’ts to prepare for this or any storm, some do’s include:

-Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours.

-Have  a three-day supply of food on hand, including a gallon of water per person per day.

-Have a battery powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries.

-Always run generators outside in well-ventilated areas.  Never inside.

- Have emergency supplies in your vehicle.  If you are stranded you will need water, food, blankets, a flashlight and extra batteries. 

More information can be found at