The Maryland State Highway Administration loads salt into trucks before a winter storm in early January. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

With potentially a foot of snow looming for the Washington region, Maryland and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) both issued declarations Tuesday, citing the need to properly respond to the winter storm.

These declarations let the states activate their respective national guards and prepare for potential power outages and snarled roads. Both governors also issued statements asking residents to prepare for these outages and other storm-related headaches.

“Just as state government is preparing for this storm, I urge every Virginian to take proper preparations,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “Prepare to limit unnecessary travel during the storm, have emergency supplies on hand and be ready in the event that power in your area goes out.”

O’Malley similarly warned residents to be ready for potential power outages owing to trees that could be brought down by the snow.

“It’s been a long winter for many Maryland families. … Once again we ask our residents to be prepared, avoid travel if at all possible, and remember to keep an eye on relatives, friends and neighbors.” O’Malley said in a statement.

Stick with the Capital Weather Gang for the latest forecasts.