Officials Urge Citizens to Prepare for More Severe Winter Weather
Harrisburg – State officials are urging the
public to pay attention to forecasts calling for heavy snow across the eastern
half of Pennsylvania, with snowfall to begin Wednesday night and continue into
“It has been a challenging winter for Pennsylvania as we’ve been
impacted by frequent storms, but the commonwealth stands at the ready as we
prepare for another significant snowfall,” said Glenn Cannon, director of the
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. “With heavy, wet snow in the forecast and
possible ice, residents should prepare for potential power outages by making
sure they have adequate supplies in their homes.”
a home emergency kit should allow a household to survive without outside
assistance for at least three days and include basics such as: one gallon of
water per person per day; non-perishable food; extra medication;
battery-operated radio and flashlights; first aid kit; and any special needs
items such as baby and pet supplies.
areas where forecasts are calling for significant snow and possible icy
conditions, motorists should postpone travel whenever possible. Those who
travel in adverse conditions should ensure that their vehicle has a full tank
of gas and an emergency kit packed. The kit should include warm clothing,
blankets, non-perishable food and water, and any needed items such as
medications and baby and pet supplies.
individuals who must travel, incident and construction information is available
for all 40,000 miles of state-owned roadway at www.511PA.com.
The website also provides access to traffic cameras as well as winter road
conditions for 2,900 miles of roadway.
power outages are again a concern with this storm, and people who remain in
their homes without power should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide
poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is
produced by generators, lanterns and gas ranges.
- Don't use a generator, charcoal
grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside
your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
- Don't run vehicles, generators
or snow blowers inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave
the door open.
- Don't heat your house with a
- If you suspect you’ve been
exposed to carbon monoxide, open the windows if possible, leave the home
or building immediately and call 911 or seek medical attention. Carbon
monoxide can incapacitate victims before they’re aware they’ve been
in a cold home without power during winter can lead to another potentially
deadly condition called hypothermia,” said Secretary of Health Michael Wolf.
“Hypothermia occurs when someone’s body temperature is very low. If you suspect
that someone has it, take their temperature and make sure they get immediate
medical attention if it is below 95 degrees.”
and older adults are most at risk of getting hypothermia and should be checked
frequently. Symptoms in adults include shivering and exhaustion, confusion,
fumbling hands, memory loss or slurred speech, and drowsiness. Warning signs in
infants include bright red, cold skin and very low energy.
should also be careful when removing heavy snow that might be left behind by
the storm,” added Wolf. “If you are shoveling snow and experience chest pain,
shortness of breath or any other symptoms of a heart attack, get immediate
medical attention or call 911.”
provided these additional tips to make snow removal safer:
- Dress appropriately.
- Consider shoveling in shifts
instead of all at once.
- Take breaks and drink water to
- When possible, push snow
instead of lifting it. If you must lift, bend your legs and not your back.
- If using a snow blower, be sure
to read and follow all safety instructions and stay aware of others who
may be nearby.
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.
Cory P. Angell, PEMA: 717-651-2169
Ickes, Health: 717-787-1783
Kirkpatrick or Erin Waters-Trasatt, PennDOT: 717-783-8800