RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Glenn Youngkin has declared a state of emergency ahead of several rounds of winter weather expected across Hampton Roads and other parts of the Commonwealth.

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“I am declaring a state of emergency today to aid in the response to the impending winter weather and to provide additional resources to address potentially high snow accumulations, transportation issues, and the potential for power outages,” said Governor Youngkin. “I urge all Virginians to monitor their local weather forecasts and take personal safety precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their families.”

Officials say that the winter weather is expected to have significant impacts on travel conditions, as well as knock down trees and cause electrical outages.

Meteorologist Jeremey Wheeler says almost all of the weather models have the most snow falling during Friday evening. During that time, Youngkin’s team is encouraging the public to stay off the roads as much as possible and only drive when absolutely necessary.

State officials are also urging the public to prepare their homes by:

  • Making sure your home is properly insulated
  • Checking the weather stripping around your windows and doors
  • Learning how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts
  • Having additional heat sources on hand in case of a power outages
  • Keeping a fire extinguisher accessible
  • Replacing the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector annually

Preparing cars is also a priority in case of emergency travel:

  • Batteries lose power as temperatures drop, be sure to have yours tested
  • Check your car’s antifreeze level
  • Have your radiator system serviced
  • Replace your car’s windshield wiper fluid with a wintertime mix
  • Proactively replace your car’s worn tires and wiper blades
  • To help with visibility, clean off your car entirely – including your trunk, roof, windows and headlights

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Transportation, and other necessary agencies have already begun to mobilize and prepare for the impact of the winter weather.

For real-time traffic conditions anywhere in the state, dial 5-1-1 or visit 511Virginia.org.