Virginia EO-85-Declaration of a State of Emergency
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINA
Office of the Governor
NUMBER EIGHTY-FIVE (2022)
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY DUE TO SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
Importance of the Issue
On this date, January 14, 2022, I declare that a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia to prepare and coordinate our response to severe winter weather. The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has been actively monitoring the movement of a major winter weather system heading toward Virginia, with anticipated tracks showing impacts beginning the evening of Saturday, January 15, 2022. The National Weather Service is still refining its forecasts based on real-time data, but initial forecasts are predicting impactful to highly impactful snow, sleet, ice, and freezing rain across broad swaths of the Commonwealth, to include higher impacts in the same area affected by the first event. This area is still dealing with the consequences of last week's back-to-back events, including power restoration and significant debris removal. This upcoming weather system is likely to include additional downed trees, more electrical outages, and significant impacts on travel conditions.
Given the storm’s current forecast, the Commonwealth is leaning forward to assist localities and assist all Virginians who face the impacts of this complex, statewide storm while also coordinating continued COVID operations. Pre-positioning response assets and supplies will be necessary to assist our local and state partners whose resources have been severely strained by on- going events. The Virginia Emergency Support Team will activate for this incident.
The anticipated effects of this situation constitute a disaster as described in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia (Code). Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, by §§ 44-146.17 and 44-75.1 of the Code, as Governor and Director of Emergency Management and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth’s armed forces, I proclaim a state of emergency. Accordingly, I direct state and local governments to render appropriate assistance to prepare for this event, to alleviate any conditions resulting from the situation, and to implement recovery and mitigation operations and activities so as to return impacted areas to pre-event conditions as much as possible. Emergency services shall be conducted in accordance with § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code.
In order to marshal all public resources and appropriate preparedness, response, and recovery measures, I order the following actions:
- Implementation by state agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, as amended, along with other appropriate state plans.
- Activation of the Virginia Emergency Operations Center and the Virginia Emergency Support Team, as directed by the State Coordinator of Emergency Management, to coordinate the provision of assistance to state, local, and tribal governments and to facilitate emergency services assignments to other agencies.
- Authorization for the heads of executive branch agencies, on behalf of their regulatory boards as appropriate, and with the concurrence of their Cabinet Secretary, to waive any state requirement or regulation, and enter into contracts without regard to normal procedures or formalities, and without regard to application or permit fees or royalties. All waivers issued by agencies shall be posted on their websites.
- Activation of § 59.1-525 et seq. of the Code related to price gouging.
- Authorization of a maximum of $1,000,000 in state sum sufficient funds for state and local government mission assignments and state response and recovery operations authorized and coordinated through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management allowable by The Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq. Included in this authorization is $500,000 for the Department of Military Affairs.
- Activation of the Virginia National Guard to State Active Duty.
Effective Date of this Executive Order
This Executive Order shall be effective January 14, 2022, and shall remain in full force and in effect until February 13, 2022, unless sooner amended or rescinded by further executive order. Termination of this Executive Order is not intended to terminate any federal type benefits granted or to be granted due to injury or death as a result of service under this Executive Order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 14th day of January 2022.
Ralph S. Northam, Governor
Secretary of the Commonwealth