Being in a "State of Emergency" does not mean what most people think it means.
You'll probably get fired if you try not going in to work with the excuse of "It was a state of emergency, so I couldn't drive."
Being in a State of Emergency has almost no effect on citizens.
The general definition of State of Emergency is:
state of emergency
Does this mean I can't drive anywhere?
Absolutely not. A State of Emergency has nothing to do with driving.
It's probably a wise decision NOT to drive, but being in a State of Emergency does NOT mean that roads are closed.
Sometimes Travel Bans may be announced with a State of Emergency, but travel restrictions are entirely separate.
But I can ride my quad and snowmobile on the roads, right?
No. You have exactly zero changes in your day to day life when there is a State of Emergency.
ATVs and snowmobiles are still not allowed on the roadways during a State of Emergency because the roads are still being used by vehicles.
So then what does it mean?
In short, it just means there's no bureaucratic red tape.
The bidding process and other restrictions on what a city, borough, or agency can do are removed.
It means agencies can use any resources they have, including money and crews, to deal with the situation. It also allows the state to hire outside contractors so they can help with problems, like snow, right away.
If a municipality needs to hire a crew to assist with snow removal tomorrow they don't need to wait a week, advertise, accept bids, and then choose who's services to use.
Alternatively, if a plow truck breaks down in the middle of the job, another truck can be rented immediately (if one is available) without wasting a week in bureaucratic nonsense.
Generally, decisions for a municipality must follow a process which includes legal advertising, public meetings, accepting bids, and voting on which service to choose. A State of Emergency simply means that the usual process can be avoided in order to get assistance or handle a situation immediately.
Even though you CAN drive during a State of Emergency, it doesn't mean you should.
If local municipalities are preparing to handle extreme weather, it's probably a good decision to stay at home.
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