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Ref: PA governor announces state-wide emergency preparedness week


Encourages Public to Prepare for Weather Emergencies



HARRISBURG, Pa., March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G.
Rendell has proclaimed March 11-17 as "Weather Emergency Preparedness Week"
in Pennsylvania. Throughout the week, county and local officials will test
plans and procedures for response to severe weather conditions.
"It is critical for everyone to understand the dangerous impact severe
weather can pose and how to react," said Governor Rendell. "'Weather
Emergency Preparedness Week' allows local officials, emergency managers and
first responders across the commonwealth to review plans and test
procedures."
Governor Rendell noted that recent natural events are a reminder that
being adequately prepared is essential to protecting public safety and
safeguarding property. He urged Pennsylvanians to be prepared for all types
of severe weather.
"From flooding last June and tornadoes in December, to the winter storm
we witnessed just last month, Pennsylvania is susceptible to harsh
conditions," said Governor Rendell. "Designating a 'Weather Emergency
Preparedness Week' should serve as an added reminder to everyone-from our
state agencies to businesses and residents-that we must be ready to handle
these conditions."
Some "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.
According to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director James R.
Joseph, the statewide exercise will allow county emergency managers to work
with schools, nursing homes, hospitals and day care centers across the
state to test and review emergency response plans under non-emergency
conditions for any type of disaster, natural or man-made.
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.
Each of the 67 county emergency management coordinators, all 501 school
districts, more than 300 hospitals and 600 nursing homes, and day care
centers across the state have been invited to participate in the weeklong
activities.
"I am confident these exercises will help government agencies,
businesses and special-care facilities better prepare for whatever Mother
Nature may bring," Joseph said. "This level of preparedness translates
directly into lives saved and property protected."
For more information on the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency,
visit http://www.pema.state.pa.us.
The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public
education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing
economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out
more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly
newsletter, visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of Governor Rendell's Weather Emergency
Preparedness Week proclamation is attached.
PROCLAMATION
WEATHER EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEEK
March 11-17, 2007
WHEREAS, In June 2006, severe flooding once again impacted many
Pennsylvania communities, resulting in widespread damage to public and
private property; and
WHEREAS, of the range of natural disasters that can occur in the
Commonwealth, flooding is by far the most common, due in part to our
mountainous terrain and our nation-leading 83,000-mile network of rivers,
creeks, and streams. Pennsylvania is recognized as one of the most flood
prone states in the nation; and
WHEREAS, heavy rains and flash flooding may result in extensive damage
to roads, streets, bridges, private homes, and businesses, and may cause
other adverse impacts upon the general population of Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Emergency
Management Council to assist state, county, and municipal governments in
preparing for, responding to, and recovering from these disasters; and
WHEREAS, each year, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
(PEMA), along with county emergency management officials and the U. S.
National Weather Service, administers a week-long weather emergency
preparedness program to alert citizens and elected officials to severe
weather related dangers; and
WHEREAS, in addition to educational and public information programs,
the
March 15 statewide exercise provides county and local emergency
personnel, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and day care centers the
opportunity to test the effectiveness of their emergency response plans and
procedures; and
WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania Emergency Alert System, which provides an
essential communications link between government and citizens during an
emergency, will be tested statewide through more than 400 radio and
television stations.
THEREFORE, I, Edward G. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim March 11-17, 2007, as WEATHER EMERGENCY
PREPAREDNESS WEEK in Pennsylvania. I encourage all citizens to recognize
the need to adequately prepare for, respond to, and recover from
emergencies, and to support educational and training programs throughout
the Commonwealth.
Given under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of
Harrisburg, this first day of March in the year of our Lord, two
thousand and seven, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-
first.

EDWARD G. RENDELL
Governor


CONTACT:
Michael Smith
717-783-1116

Maria A. Finn, PEMA
(717) 651-2009


SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

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