State of Emergency
What is a Governor’s Declaration of Emergency?
Some emergencies and disasters are sudden and unexpected, but many (such as severe weather) are known and predicted. When an imminent threat might be severe enough to require state assistance to local governments, then discussions begin at the state level about the need for a declaration of emergency.
A Governor’s declaration allows state agencies to bypass some time-consuming paperwork and procedures in the interest of quickly getting assistance to local governments, and in turn to residents of the Commonwealth.
- The Governor’s declaration does not designate specific localities. It affects state agencies that have an active role in disaster response.
- A Governor’s declaration may be given verbally, with the written Executive Order to follow a few days later.
- Usually, the declaration is in effect for up to a year, to cover residual costs stemming from the emergency.
A Governor’s declaration helps state agencies assist local governments in a disaster. It does not automatically grant leave to state employees. State employees who have questions about their work schedule during an emergency should contact their agency’s human resource department or the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management.