Governor Tomblin Provides Update On State of Emergency
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today provided an update regarding the statewide State of Emergency.
“The statewide State of Emergency remains in place as we continue to monitor the effects of Winter Storm Thor. Although temperatures are expected to rise and water levels continue to decline, I encourage drivers to remain cautious while traveling,” Governor Tomblin said. “I am extremely proud of our state’s response to this massive winter storm, and I’d like to thank all first responders, the West Virginia National Guard, local and state road crews, and all West Virginians who have worked hard to help combat this storm.”
Representatives from the Governor’s Office, the West Virginia National Guard and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management briefed members of the West Virginia Legislature today on the procedures and protocols for a State of Emergency, as well as an update on current weather conditions.
According to the National Weather Service, no additional major weather concerns are expected this weekend. As waters in most areas continue to fall, local and state officials will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days.
Although residents will experience colder temperatures in the mornings, temperatures are predicted to gradually warm up through the weekend. Snow and ice melt are expected to melt slowly, so West Virginians should continue to exercise caution and prepare for cold temperatures.
For updates on warming stations, shelters, power outages, road closures and weather conditions, continue to monitor the state’s official Facebook page for Winter Storm: www.facebook.com/westvirginiathor.
WVSBDC Advises Businesses How to Avoid Disaster from Severe Weather
Amid the flurry of severe weather advisories predicting a brutal blast of ice and snow this week, West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC) adds this reminder to the state’s businesses: the best protection against disaster is preparation.
Samuel Payne, WVSBDC business coach and “point person” on disaster assessment and planning, offers readiness tips for businesses.
“Companies also need to plan how to maintain access to the place of business and to protect their most important asset: their employees,” said Payne. “It is a good idea to develop a plan of action for your business and your staff to be ready for this type of interruption.”
Payne suggests a checklist to help business owners identify where business are most susceptible to winter hazards and to suggest ways to minimize damage. For more information, review PREPAREMYBUSINESS.org or contact Payne at
During the storm:
Have cold weather equipment such as heaters, snow blowers and generators located where they are most likely to be used.
Keep driveways, walkways and doorways clear of snow and ice.
Prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing by opening water faucets so that they drip slightly. Keeping water flowing provides relief from pressure build-up and prevents pipes from bursting.
Have at hand the names and phone numbers of heating contractor, plumber, fire department, insurance agent and building owner.
Assign someone to check indoor temperatures should your place of business be vacant for long periods of time.
Have an emergency communication plan in place before a storm or other disaster strikes.
Have all employees, vendors, and client contact information on hand.
Have a ready plan for how to manage phones lines in case of evacuation. Redirection to cell phones, answering service or Google Voice could be critical.
After the storm, notify all critical people of the next steps, based on damage.
Winter storms may range from a moderate snow in a short amount of time to a blizzard lasting for days. Some storms are regional and may affect several states, while others are more localized, depending upon geography and terrain. Common characteristics of winter storms are dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain.
Understand the weather terms:
Winter storm watch: Be alert, a storm is likely.
Winter storm warning: Take action, the storm is in or entering the area.
Blizzard warning: Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill. Seek refuge immediately!
Winter weather advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.
Frost/freeze warning: Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops or fruit trees.
“We hope the predicted storm, if it comes to pass, will be the last blast of winter,” Payne said. “But businesses need to be ready for other potential disasters – from floods to compromised data access—that may threaten a business’s ability to operate. The best business practice is to have a plan ready and know how to use it.”
The WVSBDC is part of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact through offering entrepreneurs and small businesses cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. The West Virginia SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The WVSBDC is an Accredited Member of America’s SBDC network.
GOVERNOR TOMBLIN ISSUES STATEWIDE STATE OF PREPAREDNESS
Governor urges all West Virginians to take steps to say safe during potential severe weather
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today issued a statewide “State of Preparedness,“ mobilizing state resources to help keep West Virginians safe during potential severe weather.
“Snow and ice are thawing and melting across the state, heavy rainfall is predicted for many areas, and large amounts of snow could follow,“ Governor Tomblin said. “Because this severe weather may affect many people across the state, I have issued a statewide State of Preparedness to mobilize state resources, including the West Virginia National Guard, to address heavy rainfall, potential flooding, high winds and additional winter weather forecasted this week.
“As you make preparedness plans, 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.“
Governor 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 forty-eight hours, including food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries and fuel for generators.
The State of Preparedness statue was passed last year 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.