N.J. state of emergency in effect for wintry Wednesday

A sign announcing weather conditions seen from the southbound lanes of I-95, north of Street Road in Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 21, 2014 (Alan Tu/for NewsWorks)

A sign announcing weather conditions seen from the southbound lanes of I-95, north of Street Road in Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 21, 2014 (Alan Tu/for NewsWorks)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency Tuesday evening in advance of a storm that is set to impact New Jersey beginning Wednesday.

The state of emergency will go cover all 21 counties and go into effect at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

“As a winter storm is expected to impact our state, we are urging residents of New Jersey to drive with caution and use their best judgement during this time,” Murphy said.

The National Weather Service says snow will begin moving through the region on Wednesday morning, likely beginning in earnest after the morning rush hour.

Snow will then gradually transition to a mix of sleet and freezing rain and then rain from south to north sometime during late afternoon into the evening hours.

National Weather Service forecasters expect one to two inches of snow in coastal Monmouth and Ocean counties and two to three inches elsewhere at the Shore.

The state of emergency declaration authorizes the state to activate and coordinate the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about a state of emergency.

Can I drive?

NJOEM: The governor’s declaration does not normally restrict citizen movements or activities. The state may limit access to affected areas due to concerns for public safety but will notify the public of these restrictions. If it is necessary to impose vehicular or personal movement restrictions, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management will alert the public using all available means, including, but not limited to: the Emergency Alert System, urgent press releases, DOT highway signs, law enforcement teletypes, etc. Every effort will be made by NJOEM to facilitate safe passage for utility, health care and emergency services workers whose presence is necessary for public safety or in response to the emergency.

How long will it last?

NJOEM: The governor will rescind the state of emergency when it is no longer needed to provide necessary support to localities or until the threat of impending danger from the event has passed.

Does it bar commerce?

NJOEM: The Governor’s declaration does not address restrictions on the sale or provision of goods or services. However, your locality may enact restrictions under their local emergency declaration. We recommend that you contact your local government for any specific information.

Does my employer still have to pay me?

NJOEM: The governor’s declaration does not mandate administrative policies for individual businesses or address workplace situations in which employees are unable to travel. Businesses must address hours of operation and compensation on an individual basis. Once a federal disaster is declared, employees unable to work may be eligible for unemployment assistance.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.