Governor Tom Corbett tonight gave an update on the state’s ongoing preparations in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy and urged residents across Pennsylvania to brace themselves and prepare for the impact of the storm.
“This is not a typical storm and it could very well be historic in scope and in magnitude because of the widespread power outages, flooding and the potential for major wind damage,” Corbett said during a media briefing at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Harrisburg. “This storm is moving slowly and bringing high volumes of rain; essentially this is a hurricane inside of a nor’easter.
“I, along with my team at PEMA, have been in constant contact with county emergency officials and we’ve put nearly 1,600 Pennsylvania National Guard troops on standby,” Corbett said. “I’ve also sent a letter to the president requesting a presidential disaster declaration, which would provide federal funding so that the state and municipalities can take life-saving measures.
“We are prepared and we are ready to assist wherever we are needed,” Corbett said. “We are anticipating the needs of each of our counties and we urge everyone to do everything they can to be prepared.”
The governor also urged citizens to stay inside once the storm hits. “Obviously, once you’re in a safe place, the best thing to do is stay there and keep off the roads. Keep away from low-lying areas and heed advice from your local authorities,” Corbett said.
People whose homes are in flood-prone areas should be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
If residents are told to leave their homes, they are free to travel to the destination of their choice, but should follow the directions of local law enforcement to ensure the safe and steady flow of traffic.
Anyone who needs to go to a shelter can find out where to go by contacting their municipal emergency management office. To find contact information for your township, borough or city, look in the government section (Blue Pages) of your local telephone directory or search online.
Specific information about any major state road closures is available by calling 511 or by www.511pa.com.
In addition to driving cautiously, motorists should also expect delays and allow extra time in their travel schedules.
When it’s raining or when roads are wet, motorists should also turn on their headlights and increase the following distance between vehicles. Pennsylvania law dictates that headlights must be turned on any time a vehicle’s wipers are on.
Information such as checklists for emergency kits and templates for emergency plans, as well as other information and volunteer opportunities, is available at www.ReadyPA.org or by calling 1-888-9-READYPA (1-888-973-2397).
Click here to see the governor’s letter to the president:http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/1297808/10_28_12-_presidential_disaster_declaration-_governor_pdf