Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: September 11, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, | Virginia Department of Emergency Management: Jeff Caldwell,, (804) 897-9730

Federal Government Authorizes Federal Emergency Declaration for Virginia

Request allows FEMA to mobilize assistance

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia’s request for a federal disaster declaration has been approved by President Trump. The declaration will mobilize federal emergency response assets to pre-position resources for hurricane response in Virginia, and will allow Virginia to seek federal reimbursement for the significant cost of responding to and recovering from impacts caused by Hurricane Florence. 

“We requested this federal declaration to bring additional federal resources for response and recovery efforts across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “This declaration will also help ensure we’re better able to respond to the effects of the storm. I appreciate the willingness of our federal partners to join in our coordinated emergency response efforts.”

Federal emergency declarations supplement state and local or Indian tribal government efforts in providing emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe. 

Forecasts and data suggest that Hurricane Florence could have devastating impacts across Virginia, including storm surges, inland flooding, downed trees, and loss of power.

On Saturday, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency for Virginia, and on Monday he requested federal assistance and ordered mandatory evacuations of residents of Zone A, Virginia’s low-lying coastal areas in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. The governor has urged all Virginians to begin making storm preparations immediately.

Virginians should check their zone at, and can call 2-1-1 for information on their zone or local shelters.

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