We figured this would eventually happen, we just didn't know when.  Governor Cuomo has issued a State of Emergency.

The governor's statement reads in part:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of New York, do hereby find that a disaster is imminent for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately. Therefore...I hereby declare a State Disaster Emergency effective January 2, 2014 within the territorial boundaries of the counties of Albany, Allegany, Bronx, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Kings, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, St. Lawrence, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming and Yates; and FURTHER, pursuant to Section 29 of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, I direct the implementation of the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and authorize, effective January 2, 2014, the State Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the State Police, the Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Department of Correctional Services, the Public Service Commission, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Department of Labor, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Office of General Services, the State University of New York, the Thruway Authority, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, other State agencies as necessary, and the American Red Cross to take appropriate action to protect State property and to assist affected local governments and individuals in responding to and recovering from this disaster, and to provide such other assistance as necessary to protect the public health and safety.

In other words, the governor declares a State of Emergency when he believes a disaster has occurred or may be imminent that is severe enough to require state aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering.

Does a State of Emergency mean I have to do anything in particular? Nope. The declaration empowers the state’s Department of Emergency Management to act on behalf of the governor to use the resources and assets of state agencies to provide immediate assistance to localities. Typically, the State Police, National Guard, and departments of Transportation and Health are placed on call to help if needed.

Does a State of Emergency mean I can’t drive or go anywhere? Not really. The governor’s declaration doesn’t normally put a restriction on travel or activities, but the state might limit access to affected areas due to concerns for public safety but if areas are restricted (i.e. roads are shut down), the state is required to notify the public of these restrictions.

How long will the State of Emergency remain in effect? Basically as long as the governor has decided that it’s no longer necessary to call on the troops to provide necessary support to localities or until the threat of impending danger from the event has passed.