PEMA Urges Preparedness for Pending Winter Storm

HARRISBURG – Due to a forecast of snow and a mix of sleet and freezing rain throughout the state on Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is encouraging Pennsylvanians to prepare now.

Motorists should be cautious as they travel throughout the day and into Wednesday morning, allowing extra time to reach their destinations, increasing following distances between vehicles and remembering that while four-wheel or all-wheel drive features may help the vehicle’s forward progress in snow or

other slippery road conditions, it does nothing to help stop the vehicle any faster on ice.

“Along with State Police, PennDOT and county emergency managers, we are monitoring weather conditions to determine this storm’s potential impact,”
said PEMA Director Robert P. French. “We are encouraging motorists to drive defensively and to check road conditions before they head out, as conditions may change over the course of this 36-hour period.”

Icy precipitation could also lead to downed trees and power lines. Those experiencing a loss of power are encouraged to call their electric utility immediately to report the outage.

“I strongly advise motorists to stay off the highways in bad weather,” said State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller. “This makes it easier for PennDOT to clear the roads and for troopers to respond to emergency situations.”

“PennDOT crews will be working around the clock to keep Pennsylvania roads passable,” PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E., said. “We’re urging those who have to travel to allow extra time and to drive with extra caution where there is freezing precipitation.”

PennDOT reminds motorists that its new travel information page offers a variety of useful tools, including current weather-related travel conditions and closures on Pennsylvania interstates. The site also provides links to PennDOT traffic cameras, roadway weather information systems and real-time weather conditions.

Motorists are also reminded that interstate road conditions are available by calling PennDOT’s interstate road condition hotline at 1-888-783-6783 for in-state callers or 717-783-5186 for out-of-state callers. Information on the hotline is updated every 15 minutes.

We encourage motorists who must travel to pack an emergency travel kit and to monitor weather forecasts. Some of the basic items that should be included in an emergency travel kit include first aid supplies, non-perishable food, water, warm clothes, a blanket and a small snow shovel.

In the event of an emergency, call 911. For additional emergency preparedness and winter safety information, visit here.

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