The Wolf Administration is encouraging everyone to pay close attention to weather forecasts as the remnants of Hurricane Ida are expected to merge with another weather system and bring 3 to 6 inches or more of rain to parts of Pennsylvania.
"This storm has left more than a million people without power and caused catastrophic flooding in the south," said Gov. Tom Wolf. "We've seen what this storm can do, and we all need to do everything we can to be ready for whatever it might bring to Pennsylvania."
According to the National Weather Service, rain is expected to begin late Tuesday night in southwestern Pennsylvania and spread to the north and east throughout the day Wednesday into Thursday morning. The heaviest rain is expected Wednesday into Wednesday night. Once the storm exits the state, drier and more seasonal conditions should follow, enabling state, county and local authorities to conduct damage assessments and begin cleanup operations.
State agencies are monitoring conditions and are ready to support counties with any state resources that can aid in protecting Pennsylvanians.
"We all have a role to play in getting our families ready for emergencies, because the more prepared we are, the less strain we see on local emergency responders and the more quickly our communities can recover," said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield.
PEMA is encouraging citizens to take additional steps to prepare for this and all emergencies by participating in September's 30 Days/30 Ways event as part of National Preparedness Month (NPM).
"The idea of proactively preparing for emergencies can seem overwhelming," Padfield said. "But we know that if we recognize possible threats early and prepare as best we can, even a small amount of preparation can make a big difference in how we react to and recover from an emergency."
Everyone who wants to participate can register to get helpful hints and tips to get started on their journey to preparedness. The information in the weekly updates can be easily shared with family, neighbors and loved ones. At the end of the month, participants will have the opportunity to fill out a brief survey about their experience and be entered to win a random drawing of a preparedness starter kit that includes a wind-up/solar radio and phone charger.
This year's theme for National Preparedness Month is "Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love." Much like a fire drill, knowing what to do in an emergency makes these hectic moments a little less frightening for everyone. The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, businesses, school and places of worship.
If you can plan for a family event such as a birthday party or moving into a new home, you can prepare for emergencies. Padfield said there are simple, low or no-cost steps you can take now to prepare for emergencies and protect everyone you love:
create a family emergency plan so loved ones know who to contact and where to go in an emergency;
sign up for weather alerts;
know how to safely turn off utilities in and around your home; and
sign up for the Ready PA monthly newsletter for additional preparedness tips throughout the year.
More information about how to prepare for an emergency, including specific information for people with access and functional needs or pets, is available on the Ready PA webpage.