Multiple states are declaring a state of emergency as a major winter storm is expected to bring freezing and subzero temperatures to the western, central and northeastern parts of the country.
With the National Weather Service (NWS) warning an Arctic blast of “dangerous and life-threatening” cold temperatures are expected to “consume much of the Lower 48” states, many state leaders are taking action ahead of the anticipated frigid conditions.
Here are the states where governors have taken emergency measures to prepare for the storm.
Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) authorized the activation of over 100 Colorado National Guard members to support extreme cold weather operations across the state.
“Colorado’s National Guard is up to the challenge whether it’s helping distribute the life-saving vaccine or respond to wildfires across our state,” he said in a press release Tuesday. “Colorado is about to face extreme weather and cold temperatures and the Guard is ready to assist local communities to help keep people safe during this extreme-cold weather snap.”
Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) announced Thursday that the state will activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in enhanced monitoring status starting Friday at 7 a.m. and remaining in effect through next Monday at noon.
Personnel from the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) will staff the EOC, which will also have officials from other government agencies available for support.
“Considering that temperatures will sharply drop on Friday night, I strongly urge everyone to make preparations in case you lose power as a result of the storm,” Lamont said in a press release. “Shelters are open across the state and anyone can call 2-1-1 to get connected to the nearest available location.”
Gov. Brian Kemp (R) declared a state of emergency for the state of Georgia on Wednesday, which will enable essential supplies to be delivered to meet both commercial and residential needs.
Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed an executive order on Wednesday lifting certain motor carrier restrictions in an effort to expedite assistance to impacted areas of the state. The order removes “certain restrictions on motor carriers, such as some driving time limitations, to allow needed fuels, relief supplies, and other items to move through Kansas as quickly as possible,” according to a press release from Kelly’s office.
“I am issuing this order to ensure that, no matter what the coming storm brings us, supplies and relief can get to communities in need as quickly as possible,” Kelly said in the release.
Gov. Andy Beshear (D) declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, noting in a weather update the following day that wind chills in the state are expected to drop below zero degrees and as low to minus 25 to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit .
“If you can avoid travel, please do,” he said in the update. “Admittedly, my family canceled plans with my parents tonight, because we need to be safe and make sure we’re all doing the right and the safe things.”
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) declared a state of emergency on Wednesday before the storm.
“Marylanders should be prepared for significant impacts to holiday travel, and adjust plans as necessary,” he said in a press release. “As always, it is especially important to give room to crews and plows. We are coordinating our response with local jurisdictions, and will continue to keep Marylanders informed throughout the storm.”
Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed an executive order on Tuesday activating the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan and the Missouri National Guard for state and local response efforts in preparation for the winter conditions.
“Extreme cold and hazardous weather conditions are expected to bring varying amounts of snow accumulation, but even more concerning is the bitter cold that is forecasted to impact the entire state,” he said. “Missourians should be proactive in their preparations and so should state government, especially during this holiday travel season.”
Gov. Roy Cooper (D) declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, which will “activate the state’s emergency operations plan, waive transportation regulations to help the transport of fuel and critical supplies, help first responders and protect consumers from price gouging,” according to the governor’s office.
Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) declared a state of emergency on Thursday that is set to last until next Monday. She recommended that New Yorkers traveling for the holidays leave on Thursday or or wait until after Sunday.
“With Mother Nature throwing everything she has at us this weekend, I encourage New Yorkers who are considering traveling for the holidays to do so before Friday or after Sunday to stay safe,” she said.
Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) declared a state of emergency across the state on Wednesday, which will temporarily suspend “requirements for size and weights permits of oversized vehicles transporting materials and supplies used for emergency relief and power restoration,” according to the governor’s office.
Gov. Jim Justice (R) declared a state of emergency across the state on Thursday ahead of the storm. Additionally, he issued an updated proclamation declaring Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, as a full-day state holiday for public employees.
“All West Virginians need to absolutely be ready for the potential impact this winter storm may bring to our state,” Justice said in a press release.
Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed an executive order declaring an energy emergency due to the freezing weather conditions. The order will allow for “the swift and efficient delivery of fuel products, as well as streamlined restoration efforts in the event of significant power outages throughout the state,” according to the governor’s office.