SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (STMW) — Gov. Pat Quinn has issued a disaster declaration, and has instructed several state agencies to coordinate their efforts ahead of the winter storm bearing down Illinois.

Quinn activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield on Monday to coordinate the state’s response to the storm, according to a release from the Governor’s Office. Representatives from more than 12 state agencies will staff the operations center 24 hours a day throughout the storm.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are encouraging motorists to use extra caution, the release said. Drivers can also check the condition of interstates by calling (800) 452-4368 or visiting http://www.gettingaroundillinois.com and clicking on “Winter Road Conditions.”

The Illinois Department of Aging has notified health care providers that they should check on older adults to ensure they have food, water and medication in cause the storm should cause power outages, according to the release.

People in need of getting out of the cold are encouraged to use one of the more than 120 state facilities that serve as warming centers, the release said. For a list of the participating centers, people can visit www.keepwarm.illinois.gov.

The Illinois Department of Human Services will also provide alternate sites for clients if their regular local office is inaccessible, the release said. Those interested in additional information regarding winter storm preparedness and updates throughout the storm can visit www.ready.illinois.gov.

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