Pa. Governor: Weather Emergency Preparedness Week Is March 1-7

Gov. Edward G. Rendell has proclaimed March 1-7 as "Weather Emergency Preparedness Week," during which local, county and state officials will review and test emergency plans and procedures for responding to severe weather.

"Although severe weather can be predicted to a certain degree, it can also hit unexpectedly anywhere in the state," Rendell said. "Weather Emergency Preparedness Week is an appropriate time for municipalities, businesses, and citizens to examine their own emergency plans and make any changes necessary to protect lives and property."

Rendell said ReadyPA, the state's initiative to help citizens prepare for disaster, offers tips on creating an emergency plan and emergency kits for homes and vehicles. Information is available online at www.ReadyPA.org or by calling 1-888-9-READYPA (1-888-973-2397).

Some of the planned "Weather Emergency Preparedness Week" activities will include community-based public information programs, a one-day exercise, and a statewide test of the Emergency Alert System network used by broadcasters. Each of the 67 county emergency management coordinators, all school districts, more than 300 hospitals and 600 nursing homes, and day care centers across the state have been invited to participate in the week of activities.

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Robert P. French said that during the exercise, state and county emergency managers will work with local facilities to test and review emergency response plans. PEMA and the National Weather Service will issue exercise-based weather reports of developing conditions. Reports will be carried via normal weather forecast outlets and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. The messages will be identified as being part of the exercise.

Visit the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency online at www.pema.state.pa.us.

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