INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb has activated nearly 150 personnel from the Indiana National Guard ahead of a significant winter storm that is bearing down on the state with frigid temperatures, high winds and potential blizzard-like conditions set to arrive Thursday.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security stated the winter storm “has the potential to be life-threatening” as wind chill is predicted to plummet to -20 degrees and below. The National Weather Service stated that howling winds could reach gust speeds of 55 miles per hour on Friday.

Serious traffic hazards and power outages are also possible, according to IDHS.

National Guard teams will serve as highway assistant teams and be strategically positioned across the northern third of the state, where the snowfall is expected to be the worst. Currently, three Indiana counties near Lake Michigan are under blizzard warnings: Porter, La Porte, and St. Joseph County. A winter storm warning remains in effect for most of the rest of Indiana.

Beginning at 7 a.m. on Thursday, the State Emergency Operations Center will be activated and will operate 24/7 during the winter weather event, IDHS reported. At travel advisory map on IDHS’s homepage is also active and will display real-time advisories as travel conditions worsen.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett advised residents to avoid unnecessary travel from Thursday evening until Sunday due to the incoming snow, high winds and dangerously cold temperatures. Residents were also warned that first responders such as police and EMS may be delayed in their response due to weather and road conditions.

To find warning centers, visit Indiana 211.

To see how the Indiana Department of Transportation plans to respond to the storm, click here.