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11/11/2019

Gov. Wolf: State Agencies Prepared for Winter Weather, Pennsylvanians Should Prepare

Harrisburg, PA – With the winter weather forecasted to bring snow and ice to the northern tier tonight through Wednesday and a cold snap to the entire state through the week, Governor Tom Wolf said state agencies are prepared and is asking all Pennsylvanians to prepare, too.

“Winter is again upon us and Pennsylvania’s state agencies are geared up to ensure resources and staff are prepared and ready to help,” Gov. Wolf said. “It’s also time for all Pennsylvanians to be prepared to stay safe and warm. I encourage everyone to check on neighbors, especially the elderly or those with special needs.”

Travel is expected to be treacherous in the northern tier of the state – above Interstate 80 – with snow forecast tonight through Wednesday and, along with snow and ice, temperatures are expected to drop through the remainder of the week.

"People need to be cautious as they head out during this storm because conditions can change quickly, " said Randy Padfield, PEMA director. "PEMA and our state agency partners are ready for the winter season and we encourage motorists to do the same."

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 950 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

For more information on PennDOT's winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources for motorists, visit the department's winter website, www.PennDOT.gov/winter.

Exposure to the cold increases the risk for frostbite and hypothermia. The Department of Health advises Pennsylvanians try to stay indoors as much as possible, but if you must go outside:

  • Make outdoor trips brief and dress warmly in layers;
  • Cover your ears, head, mouth, and face;
  • Never ignore shivering – it’s your body’s way of saying you’re losing heat and it’s time to return indoors.
  • Infants and older Pennsylvanians are at greater risk of serious cold-related health issues and should be checked frequently to ensure they are warm enough during cold weather.

More cold weather tips can be found on the Department of Health’s website here.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) advised Pennsylvanians to write down, print or save toll-free outage hotlines for your electric utility and/or your natural gas utility, which are listed on your monthly bills and posted on the PUC website. The PUC also encourages Pennsylvanians to call their utility company if an outage occurs and not to assume someone else has already done so.

Gov. Wolf also reminded Pennsylvanians that the application period is open for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. More information can be found here.

“Making sure all Pennsylvanians are safe and healthy is my top priority,” said Gov. Wolf.  “I cannot stress enough the importance for everyone to heed weather forecasts, listen to directions from emergency officials, and plan accordingly.”

MEDIA CONTACT:  J.J. Abbott, 717-783-1116

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