HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency Thursday in anticipation of a nor'easter and winter storm expected to impact several regions of the Commonwealth Friday into Saturday.
According to Youngkin's office, while this will be a statewide event, the coastline is expected to experience the largest impacts.
Heavy wet snow along with high winds are predicted, which poses a threat for downed trees, electrical outages, and major impacts to travel. In addition, there is also the threat of tidal flooding.
“The key message for all Virginians is to stay aware of the weather conditions and to stay off the roads if possible,” Youngkin said. “We have already started planning and mobilizing resources needed to protect the Commonwealth. We are very concerned with the forecasted impacts to our Eastern Shore region and have started pre-positioning resources to ensure a timely response to that area. The most important thing everyone can do to minimize the risks is to prepare yourself and your family.”
As a reminder, below is a list of preparedness actions that you can take to lessen the impacts of severe winter weather:
- During a winter storm, stay off the roads as much as possible and only drive when absolutely necessary. Always give snowplows and responders the right of way.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any other partially enclosed area.
- Snow shoveling is a known trigger for heart attacks. Always avoid overexertion when shoveling.
- When severe weather occurs, plan to check on elderly or disabled neighbors and relatives.
- If you must travel, know road conditions before you leave home. Visit 511Virginia.org or call 511 for road condition updates.
- Protect yourself from Frostbite. Hands, feet and face are the most commonly affected areas so wear a hat, mittens (which are warmer than gloves) and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.
- Keep dry. Change out of wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer or heavy clothing.
- Prepare your home by checking to make sure it is properly insulated, and learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
- Avoid travel, but if you have to leave your home, bring a preparedness kit including items like blankets, drinking water and snacks, a basic first-aid kit and a basic set of tools.
A state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Transportation, and other pertinent agencies are already mobilizing and preparing for the impact of these storms.