RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency across Virginia Tuesday in advance of a snowstorm expected to blanket parts of the state in the next 24 to 48 hours.
The declaration allows state agencies to help local governments respond to the storm and get resources in place for a faster response, if needed.
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"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."
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The governor's office has added extra staffing to the state Emergency Operations Center and state agencies are now coordinating with the National Weather Service and local governments.
VDOT is already treating roads in some parts of the Commonwealth, and crews will be out in full force for snow removal as the storm arrives, officials said.
Up to 300 Virginia National Guardsman may be called to active duty to support emergency response operations. Virginia State Police will also ask troopers to work extra hours of shifts to help motorists.
Citizens should also be prepared to have at least 72 hours of emergency supplies, including a gallon of water per person per day and food that does not require electricity to prepare it.
The state also said to have a battery powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries for emergency information.
It also said to have emergency supplies in your vehicle, including water, food, blankets, flashlight and extra batteries at a minimum.