HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency Thursday ahead of several rounds of winter weather expected to impact the Hampton Roads and Central Virginia regions.
According to Youngkin's office, this weather system is expected to last through Saturday and have "significant" impacts on travel conditions.
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.
"I am declaring a state of emergency today to aid in the response to the impending winter weather and to provide additional resources to address potentially high snow accumulations, transportation issues, and the potential for power outages," Youngkin said. "I urge all Virginians to monitor their local weather forecasts and take personal safety precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their families."
Youngkin's office released the following tips to help prepare for the storm:
- 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.