HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in anticipation of a significant winter storm that is projected to bring as much as a foot or more of heavy snow to parts of eastern Pennsylvania.
The move allows specially-trained staff from multiple state agencies to maintain an accurate awareness of the storm’s status and impact, and it enables the state to more quickly respond to requests for assistance as they come in from county emergency management leaders.
“This storm is forecast to have a significant impact on a large part of the state,” Corbett said. “To ensure that the commonwealth can respond quickly, I am ordering the activation of the SEOC at 8 p.m. this evening. By increasing our staffing levels early we can ensure that we have the resources necessary to best support the needs of our citizens.
“I urge those in the storm’s path to make sure they are prepared if they lose power,” Corbett said. “We have been working closely with the PUC and utility companies to ensure they are ready and have the recourses that they need.”
The SEOC is located at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency headquarters outside Harrisburg. It will initially be staffed with personnel from 15 state agencies, including the PA State Police, PA National Guard, PA Turnpike and PennDOT at 8 p.m.
They will be joined by staff from the Public Utility Commission, Fish and Boat and Game commissions, Office of Administration and departments of Agriculture, Public Welfare, Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources, Labor and Industry, General Services, Education and Health, Aging, and the American Red Cross at 10 p.m.
Citizens are urged to pay attention to local forecasts, avoid unnecessary travel and ensure they are prepared with home and vehicle emergency kits. Free, downloadable kit checklists are available online at www.ReadyPA.org.