Gov. Jim Justice today declared a State of Preparedness for all 55 counties in West Virginia due to the winter storm event forecast to hit the state this week.

The National Weather Service predicts heavy snow, freezing rains, dangerous wind chills, and strong winds beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, December 21, 2022, continuing throughout the week and into the coming holiday weekend.

Click here to view State of Preparedness declaration

The declaration directs the State Emergency Operations Center and its partner agencies to prepare to respond to the impending winter storm, posturing personnel and resources to respond quickly should an emergency develop.

Coordinating agencies are on standby to report to the State Emergency Operations Center at the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (EMD) should the need arise. To assist emergency management officials tracking the storm’s path, the National Weather Service will hold daily briefings for state agencies and local partners, and EMD liaisons will provide updates from each county.

The EMD Watch Center has increased staffing through the weekend to perform around-the-clock monitoring of the weather system and will notify leaders if local emergency management agencies request assistance. 

“EMD monitors for any events that may threaten the citizens of West Virginia, including severe weather,” said EMD Director GE McCabe. “We’re prepared at all times to respond should there be an emergency, even on holidays.”

Gov. Justice and the EMD ask all West Virginians to remain attentive to weather conditions through local media reports and follow any instructions issued by emergency officials.