From Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's office....
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced that Virginia received a pre-landfall federal emergency declaration. This action allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide supplies, equipment and other needed resources to state and local officials responding to Hurricane Irene.
“I asked the President for the emergency declaration to assure that local and state governments have the necessary support they need to quickly address the needs of Virginians in the aftermath of this powerful storm,” said Governor McDonnell. “This step makes us even better prepared to start response and recovery measures to save lives and protect property.”
The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures to lessen the threat of the hurricane in the counties of Accomack, Northampton, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, and New Kent and the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.
The federal emergency declaration does not provide disaster assistance to individuals. There is a separate process to request that assistance, which usually comes after the storm’s passage.