Pennsylvania Provides Update on Winter Storm; Activates Emergency Operations Center

January 22, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) today activated the State Emergency Operations Center and reminded citizens to monitor local forecasts for updates on the winter storm expected to enter the state this evening and continue through Saturday. PEMA will also open a Joint Information Center tomorrow to allow for clear communications between agencies and the public.

“We are putting our priority on supporting Pennsylvania’s 67 counties in making sure their communities have the resources they need and their residents are safe,” Governor Wolf said. “The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, PennDOT, Pennsylvania State Police and many other state agencies will be working around the clock to respond to the storm.”

PEMA Director Richard Flinn and State Meteorologist Jeff Jumper provided a briefing today on conditions statewide and preparations by state agencies and will provide regular updates as the storm enters and leaves the commonwealth. Residents are also encouraged to follow commonwealth agencies, including @ReadyPA, on social media.

“We know that winter storms are nothing new in Pennsylvania, but we encourage everyone to be prepared, stay informed and keep safe,” said PEMA Director Flinn “I also encourage people to check in with neighbors and loved ones now, before the storm starts, to make sure they have what they need.”

Flinn noted that the proclamation of disaster emergency signed by Governor Tom Wolf yesterday does not automatically close roadways or restrict travel. However, motorists should delay any unnecessary travel until weather and road conditions improve. Anyone who does need to travel should check conditions on state roadways at, and have an emergency car kit which includes:

  • water
  • food
  • warm clothing
  • spare electronics chargers; and
  • any specialized items like baby or pet supplies.

Flinn said families should be prepared to survive for up to three days at home without outside assistance. A home emergency kit should contain:

  •  non-perishable food
  • bottled water (one gallon per person per day. A family of 4 needs a minimum of 12 gallons)
  • medications
  • flashlight with spare batteries
  • first aid kit
  • warm clothing; and
  • any specialized items such as baby supplies or pet food.

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 free downloadable emergency home and car kit checklists and emergency plan templates, is available online at The free ReadyPA app is also available for both Apple and Android devices.

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