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03/13/2019

Wolf Administration and Local Leaders Discuss How Restore Pennsylvania will Benefit Disaster Survivors

Harrisburg, PA – Today in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Randy Padfield was joined by officials from Huntingdon County and Huntingdon Borough to discuss how Restore Pennsylvania could help municipalities prevent storm damage before it occurs and would benefit disaster survivors when damages do not meet federally established thresholds for federal aid.

“Over the years, the damage caused by significant flooding has scarred not only the environment but also the people living in affected communities,” said Padfield. “It can take weeks, months and even years to get back to normal, but Restore Pennsylvania would provide funding to prevent or lessen damage, and help communities recover.”

Restore Pennsylvania would invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant, high-impact projects to rebuild Pennsylvania’s infrastructure. The program would establish a disaster relief trust fund to assist individuals who suffer losses but are not eligible for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, or other programs.

“It’s never easy to visit the communities we serve and look at the damage left behind from severe storms or flooding,” said Joe Thompson, emergency management coordinator for Huntingdon County. “As it gets harder to meet the necessary thresholds for federal disaster assistance, Restore Pennsylvania will make it easier for communities to take steps to prevent damage from even happening, and help our neighbors recover more quickly.”

Governor Wolf’s proposal also would provide funding for municipalities to take steps to prevent flooding via streambank restoration, levees or floodwalls, and stream restoration and maintenance. Estimates show that every dollar spent on hazard mitigation efforts saves seven dollars in response and recovery operation costs.

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth's vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century. A detailed overview of the plan is available online.

More information about how to prepare for an emergency, including specific information for people with specialized needs such as pets or access and functional needs, is available on the ReadyPA website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ruth A. Miller, ruthmiller@pa.gov 

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