REMARKS
Governor Deval L. Patrick
Winter Advisory Announcement
MEMA Bunker, Framingham
Thursday, December 18, 2008

On Thursday, December 18, 2008, with winter storm advisories in effect and a weather event expected tomorrow, Governor Deval Patrick traveled to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to provide updates on the state's storm preparation and planning process.

"I will make a decision by 5 o'clock tomorrow morning about whether to ask state employees to stay home and to advise private employers to take necessary measures to assure the safety of their workers and also that the roads are clear for road-clearing equipment to be able to their job," said Governor Patrick.

Governor Deval Patrick:

Together with the team and with the support of the team, we will be getting updates, as I say, through the rest of today and tonight. And I will make a decision by 5 o'clock tomorrow morning about whether to ask state employees to stay home and to advise private employers to take necessary measures to assure the safety of their workers and also that the roads are clear for road-clearing equipment to be able to their job.

The information and my decision will be up on the mass.gov website and will be made available to local emergency response teams and to the media as well. And information will be available on the 2-1-1 line, which is the line available to anybody to get information to help respond to whatever this weather event may be.

People will see that MassHighway and Turnpike assets will be coming off the response to the ice storm from last week to prepare for the snow storm we're expecting tomorrow - to give them a chance to regroup and get a bit of rest and then to redeploy and to reposition the assets as necessary to prepare for the winter storm. But I feel very good about how well the team is working together, about the coordination between all of the assets including local emergency response teams.

We will do everything we can, mindful that Mother Nature has a mind of her own, everything we can to insure the safety and ease of movement of the people of Massachusetts. I will say that those who can, who must travel tomorrow - again this is based of very preliminary information about the storm - but those who must travel tomorrow should make plans to do so, I think, by public transportation, again, for their own safety and to make sure we are keeping the roads clear for vehicles that need to work on snow removal.