News for Immediate Release
Jan. 2, 2014
Officials Warn Citizens to Plan for Snow, Dangerous Cold
Harrisburg – State health and emergency management
officials are urging the public to pay attention to forecasts which currently
call for snowfall across much of Pennsylvania today into Friday morning,
followed by bitterly cold temperatures.
“People who do travel should be
certain to have essential items in their vehicle such as food, water and warm
clothes to help contend with the potential for dangerous conditions if travel
delays occur,” said Dave Holl, deputy director of operations at the
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. “Wind
and extreme temperatures could lead to hazardous driving conditions, and
dangerous wind chills will make it unsafe to be outside for any extended period
While snowfall accumulation will vary
greatly across the state, bitterly cold temperatures in the teens and single
digits, accompanied by below-zero wind chills, will move in after the storm and
will impact the entire state.
The Department of Health is urging
Pennsylvanians to take the following commonsense steps to reduce the risk of
health hazards during and after the storm:
carbon monoxide poisoning during power outages:
- Never use an electric
generator, camp stove or similar device indoors since they produce carbon
monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that builds up in closed spaces and
- Leave your home
immediately and call 911 if your carbon monoxide detector sounds. Get
medical help right away if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are
dizzy, light headed or nauseous.
warm as possible:
- Hypothermia is a serious
condition that happens when your body temperature is too low. Older
Pennsylvanians and babies are most at risk and should be checked
frequently. If your power is out for a long time, stay with a relative or
friend, or go to a shelter if one is open in your area.
- If you must venture
outdoors, make trips brief and dress warmly. Cover your ears, head, mouth
and face to prevent frostbite.
snow removal injuries:
- If you experience chest
pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms of a heart attack while
shoveling snow, call 911.
- When possible, push snow
instead of lifting it. If you must lift, bend your legs and not your back.
Also avoid twisting motions that can stress your back.
- If using a snow blower,
read and follow all safety instructions.
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 key minutes being lost
as 911 center personal attempt to reestablish contact.
To check road conditions on more than
2,900 miles of state roads, visit www.511PA.com or simply call 511.
The commonwealth’s ReadyPA
campaign encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency
occurs: Be Informed, Be Prepared, Be Involved. More detailed information,
including downloadable emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates,
is available online at www.ReadyPA.org or
by calling 1- 888-9-READY-PA.
Cory P. Angell, PEMA; 717-651-2169
Penny Ickes, Health;