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What is a Gubernatorial State of Emergency?

Governor Deval Patrick has declared a State of Emergency, but what does that mean?

Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency today banning car travel after 4 p.m.

According to information from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, a state of emergency can involve different measures and does not always affect travel or private businesses. There may be a request for drivers to stay off the roads and for businesses to change their hours, but the governor may also order roads to be closed to non-emergency traffic.

There has not been an ordered ban on travel since the Blizzard of '78. Violators could be fined up to $500 and be sentenced to a year in jail, although Governor Patrick says the main purpose is to get non-essential people off the roads.

According to the office of public safety, the state of emergency does not mean the state will provide financial assistance to municipalities because of the storm.

Michael Barrett February 08, 2013 at 11:27 PM
I'll drive if I want/need to. I do not take orders from king deval. This order is not legal.
Annie February 09, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Michael - we are better off because of the Governor's ban. Abandoned cars didn't clog our major roads. Emergency resources are able to reach destinations so we can start the process of restoring power and other services. It was reported that some of the people that elected to drive found themselves disoriented by blinding snow and driving the wrong direction on major highways. I credit the Governor for putting a plan in place that prevented more of this and made the roads safer for our emergency service providers.

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