Governor Corbett Declares Disaster Emergency for Spring Storm
HARRISBURG, Pa., April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Governor Tom Corbett today declared a statewide disaster emergency to enable state, county and municipal governments to respond effectively to the impact of the weekend’s late spring storm.
The snowfall crippled parts of western and northern Pennsylvania and brought heavy rain to much of the rest of the state.
The proclamation authorizes state agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of this emergency situation. The time-consuming bid and contract procedures, as well as other formalities normally prescribed by law, are waived for the duration of the proclamation.
Corbett issued the disaster proclamation based on the recommendation of Glenn Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and forecasts from the National Weather Service.
The State Emergency Operations Center, located at PEMA headquarters in Harrisburg, was activated with enhanced staffing late Sunday evening to support county emergency services and to coordinate state resources in response to the severe storm.
The state’s Emergency Operations Center has been monitoring conditions statewide to assess conditions and coordinate any response necessary to support county and local officials in the affected areas. PEMA remains in communication with multiple state agencies, including the state departments of Transportation, Health, Public Welfare, General Services, State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard, Turnpike Commission, Public Utility Commission and the American Red Cross.
Individuals needing assistance should call their local municipal emergency management office in the “Blue Pages” section of the phone book or, if they have an emergency, should call 911 immediately. Never call 911 to request or report road conditions. When calling 911 to report an emergency, it is critical for callers to stay on the line, even if for an extended series of rings, until the operator answers. Hang-ups due to frustration result in wasted staff time as the 911 center tries to reestablish contact.
Motorists can check road conditions on nearly 3,000 miles of state roads by visiting www.511PA.com or by calling 511. The call is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and access to more than 500 traffic cameras. Regional Twitter alerts are also available on the 511PA website.
The state’s ReadyPA campaign encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency occurs: be informed, be prepared, be involved.
More detailed information, including emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, is available online at www.ReadyPA.org or by calling 1-888-9-READY-PA.
Janet Kelley, Governor’s Office; 717-783-1116
Ruth A. Miller, PEMA; 717-651-2009
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor