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Pennsylvania Governor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Winter Storm

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has declared a state of emergency in preparation for the winter storm expected to impact the Delaware Valley beginning Friday evening.

"Declaring a state of emergency allows the commonwealth to deliver state resources wherever they're needed as quickly as possible," said Governor Wolf.

"We have multiple state agencies working at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to monitor weather conditions across the state and we will respond to help local governments and residents in need."

The disaster emergency proclamation enables state and local authorities to respond to needs as quickly as possible, Governor Wolf says.

READ: Cold Weather Survival Guide

The proclamation authorizes state agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of the situation.

Governor Wolf and state officials from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Turnpike, and the Departments of Transportation and Health held a briefing Thursday afternoon on the upcoming storm.

"We cannot control the weather, but we can be prepared for whatever the weather brings us," said Gov. Wolf.

"Please talk with your healthcare providers now and be prepared for this storm," said Cory Coleman with the Deparment of Health.

"Preparation is key for winter driving," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.

"We're emphasizing be prepared," said Richard D. Flinn Jr., director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).

For state agencies, including transportation, health, and public utilities, it means having representatives inside the state emergency operations center starting Saturday morning.

For the rest of us, says Flinn, it's about staying safe inside our homes.

"Have the necessary food, the medications, those things your family needs without having to travel outside," said Flinn.

Or, says PennDOT boss Leslie Richards, if you do have to hit the roads:

"Slow down, and increase the following distance."

And, she says, remember to keep a six-car-length distance between you and the plow.


KYW's Ian Bush contributed to this report.

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