BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A state of emergency is already in effect ahead of the storm.

Meghan McCorkell has the preparations already underway.

Emergency officials are keeping a close eye on the forecast as the storm moves closer to our area. Tuesday’s clear roads won’t last long.

From Sky Eye Chopper 13, you can see the salt trucks lined up for what could be the biggest winter storm of the season.

“A small shift in the way that this storm goes could mean the difference between many inches or a few inches,” said MEMA Director of Preparedness Brendan McClusky.

State officials say people need to be prepared for the worst.

“We’re weakened from last week’s ice storm already so with the heavy wet snow that’s coming and the amount of snow that’s expected, power outages could be a concern,” McClusky said.

With a state of emergency in effect, Maryland’s Storm Operations Center will activate Wednesday morning.

The last time a snow state of emergency was issued was the blizzard of 2010 that crippled Maryland for days. The declaration allows the governor to deploy the Maryland National Guard, hire emergency contractors and waive some rules and regulations to speed up storm recovery.

Emergency officials are urging everyone to stay off the roads once the snow starts falling.

“It sends a big message to citizens that this is serious. We need you to be on alert. And frankly when it does start snowing and we say, `Stay home,’ this is really the one. Stay home,” said Valerie Burnette Edgar, State Highway Administration.

SHA is ready to pre-position crews to respond as soon as the storm moves in.

“Getting everybody lined up, getting everybody ready, having the equipment and having the supplies,” Burnette Edgar said.

Now they’re resting up for a long few days.

The State Highway Administration has already used about 319,000 tons of salt this winter.

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