Update: The State of Emergency was terminated on Jan. 22, 2013, at 7 p.m. EST.
Due to inclement weather, Tennessee declared a state of emergency at 5 p.m., EST, today, the Tenn. Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) announced.
This level describes an event or period when a serious emergency has occurred or the situation is deteriorating rapidly, and public warnings are being issued. The Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) and the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) are activated at this level in accordance with TCA 58-2-107(b)(2), and this action by law declares a state of emergency. Only key or specifically needed emergency service coordinators are called to duty.
The emergency was declared "due to freezing rain and icy conditions in West and Middle Tennessee, and because of the possibility of sevier flooding in East Tennessee from the rainfall that continues to move across the state," according to TEMA's statement.
TEMA said residents should slow down in ice and snow, limit travel as much as possible, and "never drive or venture into standing water." They said that if travel is unavoidable, to have an automobile emergency kit including "blankets, warm and sturdy boots, a flashlight, and a hand-powered charger for mobile devices."
A state of emergency is valid for 60 days, and may be renewed, unless Gov. Haslam terminates it sooner by executive order or proclamation.