PEMA: Get Ready for Emergencies during National Preparedness Month

Aug 30, 2013, 13:45 ET from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State officials today urged Pennsylvanians that during National Preparedness Month in September, they should take steps to get their families ready to face and survive an emergency.

"This summer we've seen tremendous damage from repeated thunderstorms in parts of Pennsylvania, which reminds us that it doesn't always take a big storm like Hurricane Sandy or Tropical Storm Lee to devastate property and disrupt lives," Glenn Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said.

Governor Tom Corbett signed a proclamation to designate September as National Preparedness Month in Pennsylvania; and to encourage citizens to make family emergency kits and create emergency plans for their families at home and businesses.

Cannon said history has shown that emergency responders cannot reach everyone immediately after a disaster, so families should have enough food, water, medication and other necessities, including pet supplies, to survive without outside assistance for at least three days. Families should also prepare a plan to communicate and reunite if they are separated during an emergency.

Cannon also emphasized the importance of following the direction and guidance of local authorities and emergency personnel, even if it means evacuating a home or business.

"The decision to evacuate an area is not one that is made in haste or taken lightly," Cannon said. "Those who ignore an evacuation order put their own lives at risk and endanger the lives of first responders – people who in many areas in this state are volunteers with their own families and loved ones."

Residents are encouraged to visit which encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency or natural disaster occurs:

  • Be Informed: Know what threats Pennsylvania and your community face.
  • Be Prepared: Have an emergency kit with at least three days' worth of essentials at your home, including food, one gallon of water per person per day, medications and specialized items such as baby or pet supplies. Create an emergency plan so family members know where to meet if everyone is separated when an incident occurs.
  • Be Involved: Pennsylvanians have a long history of helping one another in times of need. Specialized training and volunteer opportunities are available so citizens can help others in their community in a disaster.

"Volunteers also play a crucial role in ensuring the commonwealth is prepared for large-scale disasters like floods, infectious epidemics or acts of terrorism," Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. "The State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania, or SERVPA, is a one-stop shop for individuals who are willing to volunteer their services during an emergency. Visit to help us ensure no precious time will be wasted during a disaster searching for competent and willing volunteers."

Information such as checklists for emergency kits and templates for emergency plans, as well as other information and volunteer opportunities, is available at or by calling 1-888-9-READYPA (1-888-973-2397).

Media contact: Ruth A. Miller, 717-651-2009

Editor's note: The text of the governor's proclamation is attached.


September 2013

WHEREAS, "National Preparedness Month" provides a valuable opportunity for every Pennsylvanian to learn more about ways to prepare for emergencies in their home, businesses and communities; and

WHEREAS, this month aims to increase public awareness concerning the importance of preparing for emergencies and to persuade individuals to take action; and

WHEREAS, emergency preparedness begins at home and is the responsibility of every American; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is encouraging all citizens to Be Informed, Be Prepared, Be Involved; and

WHEREAS, all Pennsylvanians can take a few simple steps such as being aware of the threats they face in their communities, assembling an emergency preparedness kit for their home and car and creating family and business emergency plans; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, federal and state emergency responders and emergency managers, as well as the private sector are working to deter, prevent, and respond to all types of emergencies, including man-made threats and natural disasters; and

WHEREAS, these activities, along with programs like Citizen Corps and others, contribute to a level of community unity and national preparedness that is critical to securing our Commonwealth and our nation; and

WHEREAS, as we observe "National Preparedness Month," I urge all citizens to participate in preparedness activities and to review the Commonwealth's ReadyPA campaign website at or (Spanish) for more information.

THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim September 2013 as NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH IN PENNSYLVANIA.  I call upon the citizens of the Commonwealth to recognize the importance of preparing for all potential emergencies, and to celebrate this month with appropriate events, activities, and preparedness programs.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency