August 29, 2008

Governor Rendell Says PA Resources Being Sent to Support Hurricane Gustav Preparedness


Contact: Maria A. Finn, PEMA, +1-717-651-2009; Holli Senior, Health, +1- 717-787-1783; or Joan Nissley, DMVA, +1-717-861-8720

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As tropical storm Gustav became a hurricane today, Governor Edward G. Rendell directed the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to coordinate state agency resources to support hurricane preparation for the storm, which could hit the Gulf Coast region as early as this weekend.

"The Gulf Coast has faced its fair share of natural disasters over recent years," said Governor Rendell. "We understand the needs and fears of the people in these states as they face another unpredictable storm. Resources from the commonwealth have been made available to support ongoing preparedness missions and we will continue to support these states however we can."

The Governor said a number of state resources will be mobilized to help the hurricane preparation in the Gulf Coast. The Governor urged Pennsylvanians to support the American Red Cross' disaster relief fund, which will help people impacted by this storm.

The Governor mobilized the PA Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) unit, which is scheduled to leave Saturday morning to report to a staging area in Georgia or Alabama. Members will conduct training and drills while waiting to begin operations in the affected areas when local, state and federal authorities begin damage assessments. PA Task Force 1 is a highly trained unit that responds to the collapse of large structures and other hazardous rescue missions.

The Department of Health, through coordination by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, will be deploying 60 ambulances and six support vehicles to Louisiana to help in the evacuation of individuals as a result of Hurricane Gustav. The ambulances will be staffed by Pennsylvania Strike Teams, which are emergency medical service providers ready to respond to an emergency immediately, but do not deplete current, Pennsylvania EMS resources. Teams will be evacuating individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, senior apartment complexes or other individuals who require an ambulance for transport.

In addition, the National Guard will send a CH-47 helicopter and crew to Louisiana to provide logistical support.

Additional flood safety information and weather updates can be found on the PEMA Web site at

The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit http://

CONTACT: Maria A. Finn, PEMA


Holli Senior, Health


Joan Nissley, DMVA

717- 861.8720

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

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