RICHMOND, Va. (WVEC) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency for Virginia on Friday in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

The order is designed to help Virginia mitigate any damage caused by the storm and to streamline the process that the Commonwealth uses to provide assistance to other states vulnerable to Irma.

“It is unfortunate that just as our nation has begun the process to repair the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Harvey, that we are faced with another extreme storm,” said Governor McAuliffe. “However, if there is one lesson we can take from the tragic events that occurred in Texas, it is that we must redouble our preparation efforts. The order I issued today is intended to both protect our commonwealth and to make sure we have every option at our disposal to help our neighboring states when Irma makes landfall.”

A state of emergency allows the commonwealth to mobilize resources, like the National Guard.

The state Emergency Operations Center will be staffed throughout the weekend in preparation for the storm and will transition into 24/7 operations as needed when the storm approaches.

The governor's office already began preparations for the impact of Irma, and McAuliffe encourages all Virginians to have a plan for potential impacts.

Due to the uncertainty of the storm’s track this many days in advance, VDEM encourages all residents of Virginia to prepare for impacts from this extremely large storm. These will range from high winds and storm surge in coastal Virginia to significant flooding both along the coast and in rivers and streams in the western part of the state.

It is also important to “Know Your Zone” before this storm impacts Virginia.