What a State of Emergency Means for You

By Vickie Frantz, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
October 30, 2012; 6:02 AM
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This current radar image is courtesy of NWS.

States along the East Coast of the U.S., have declared a state of emergency in preparation for Sandy's arrival.

Once the state of emergency is declared, what happens? What kind of programs are put into place? Below you can find out what a state of emergency status means for each state.

Virginia

A state of emergency order was signed by Governor Bob McDonnell on Friday. In a press release, McDonnell said the state of emergency was declared to allow a fully coordinated state response to challenges during initial local recovery efforts.

The full resources of the state are made available to support communities in need after Sandy's impacts. The implementation of the state of emergency will allow personnel, equipment and supplies to be on scene in a shorter amount of time.

Below, is a list of ways the state agencies in Virginia are preparing for Sandy:

  • The Virginia Emergency Response Team was activated.
  • The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has increased staff who will be available 24 hours a day.
  • Virginia State Police are on stand-by and moved into position at places where they may be needed.
  • The Virginia Department of Forestry is standing by with chainsaw crews who are prepared to remove debris.
  • Virginia Department of Transportation crews are prepared to clear roads to provide safe travel.
  • The Virginia National Guard is authorized to place personnel on state active duty and begin preparing resources.
  • The Virginia Department of Health is coordinating with hospitals and long-term care facilities to ensure they are ready for storm impact.

The above information was provided by www.governor.virginia.gov.



Washington, D.C.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray declared a state of emergency on Saturday and began meeting with District officials to coordinate storm preparations.

Below is a list of events put in place with the declaration of the state of emergency in Washington, D.C.:

  • D.C. water department is clearing storm drains citywide.
  • The Department of Public Works distributed sandbags on Saturday.
  • The District Department of Transportation is assigning staff and contractors to be ready to collect storm debris on Monday with the assistance of Department of Public Works crews.
  • Department of Public Works tow trucks will be deployed to remove vehicles that are blocking roadways.
  • Generators have been put in place at major intersections to allow the traffic signals to work in the event of a power outage. At intersections without generators, traffic control officers will be deployed to direct traffic as needed.
  • Trash collection for residents scheduled for Monday has been postponed. Residents will be advised of the new day.

The above information was provided by www.mayor.dc.gov.



The rough surf from Hurricane Sandy pounds the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland on Sunday, Oct. 28,2012. Photograph is courtesy of Ocean City resident Brooke N.

Maryland

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed the state of emergency order on Friday. O'Malley urged Maryland residents to prepare for impacts from Sandy.

Below is a list of some of the things the state of emergency puts into place for Maryland:

  • The Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agencies' is required to coordinate the emergency response of state agencies during Sandy.
  • Allows for the use of resources covered under the State and Local emergency plans.
  • Supplies, equipment, materials and facilities that have been stockpiled or arranged are made available.
  • Allows the Governor to suspend the effects of statutes or regulations of the State or localities if the public health, welfare or safety deems it necessary.
  • Places the National Guard in active status to provide assistance if needed.



The information above was provided by www.governor.maryland.gov.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

In a post to youtube, Corbett outlined the following state preparations for Sandy:

  • Power companies are mobilizing to be in place to restore power.
  • The governor has been in touch with the National Guard and they are on stand-by to assist when needed.
  • Every cabinet member of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has been notified to be prepared to deal with impacts from Sandy.
  • The governor advises all residents of Pennsylvania to stay home and stay indoors during the storm.
  • Residents are advised to visit the PEMA website for more ways to prepare.

Some of the above information is from the Governor Corbett youtube video and some is from the PEMA website.

New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did a video press release when he declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

Below you will find some of the most important points from the governor's speech:

  • Mandatory evacuations are in effect for the Barrier Island from Sandy Hook south to Cape May and all of the Atlantic City casinos. All residents are asked to vacate those areas before 4 p.m. EDT Sunday.
  • There is confirmation that 18 of 21 county county shelters will be open. The total capacity for evacuees is 12,000 as of Sunday afternoon.
  • The National Guard has been activated. They are prepared to assist with any senior citizens who need to be evacuated.
  • Water in some of the area reservoirs has been lowered to help minimize flooding.
  • All local mayors have been advised to have the streets and storm drains cleared of leaves.
  • The New Jersey Transit system is making preparations to cross-honor all passes for rail, bus and light rail. This pass exception will be in place from Monday at midnight until Wednesday at 6 a.m. EDT.



New York

New York Governor declared a state of emergency on Saturday. Since that time, preparations for Sandy's arrival have begun in the state.

  • All utility companies have been put on alert. There are 2,700 utility workers on alert to assist with the storm preparations statewide.
  • Water levels in the area reservoirs have been lowered across the state to help prevent flooding.
  • All of the statewide bridges, tunnels, roadways and drainage ditches are being cleared of leaves and debris.
  • The Mass Transit Authority in New York will begin closing down at 7 p.m. EDT Sunday.



The above information was found on the www.governor.ny.gov website.



Massachusetts

The governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency on Saturday. Below are some ways the state of Massachusetts is preparing for impact from Sandy:

  • Saturday, 77 trucks of water, cots, generators, food, tarps and emergency equipment were heading to a military base being used by FEMA.
  • Local residents headed to gas stations to top off their gas tanks.
  • The Springfield emergency personnel is working with officials from Western Massachusetts Electric Company, local hospitals and others who need to prepare for the storm.
  • Residents have been purchasing generators, batteries. oil lamps and chainsaws.

The information given above can be found on the www.masslive.com web page.

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