In anticipation of the severe winter storm arriving in New Jersey Thursday evening, Governor Chris Christie has declared a State of Emergency,

"I encourage all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations,” said the governor in a news release.

“The impending weather conditions over the next several days will produce a variety of dangerous travel conditions throughout the state.”

The storm is expected to bring high winds, heavy snow, mixed precipitation, storm surges and sub-zero temperatures throughout the state.

A potential mixture of hazardous travel conditions, fallen trees and power outages and coastal, stream and river flooding are anticipated.

The governor's state of emergency declaration does not direct state residents to take any particular action, nor does it restrict their movements or activities.

But it does authorize the State Director of Emergency Management to activate and coordinate the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies.

Christie also authorized the closing of state offices on Friday for all non-essential employees.

“I’ve authorized state officials to take all necessary action in advance of the storm, and my administration will continue monitoring conditions throughout the remainder of the storm," said Christie.