Governor urges all West Virginians to take steps to stay safe during winter weather
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (January 20, 2016) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today issued a statewide State of Preparedness, mobilizing state resources to help keep West Virginians safe during the severe winter weather predicted to be part of Winter Storm Jonas.
“Many counties across the state are already seeing snowfall, and large amounts of snow are being predicted across the state throughout the weekend,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Because heavy snowfall has the potential to affect so many West Virginians, I have issued a State of Preparedness to mobilize state resources, including the West Virginia National Guard, to address heavy snowfall, high winds and other winter weather forecasted this week.
“As you prepare, I encourage you to talk to your family about what to do and where to go. Remember to check on the elderly and your neighbors and consider a plan to care for household pets.”
Gov. Tomblin also noted potential weather may leave neighborhoods without power and other utilities, and service providers are ready to address outages and other issues as they arise. He encouraged residents to think about the items families may need to stay safe for at least 48 hours, including food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries and fuel for generators.
The State of Preparedness statute was passed in 2014 to allow the governor to mobilize necessary resources in advance of predicted severe weather or large-scale threats. The powers are similar to those involved in a State of Emergency but allow for additional preparations in advance of the expected event.
West Virginians needing assistance should contact their local emergency management office. Contact information for each county office can be found here.
For updates on the state’s response efforts, including lists of warming stations and shelters, power outages, road closures and weather conditions, please visit the state’s official Facebook page for Winter Storm Jonas: www.facebook.com/WVJonas.