Today, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners instructed Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler and County Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster to activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Ivyland at 11 p.m. on January, 22, 2016. The EOC activation will continue throughout the impending winter storm that is predicted for the region, which includes a blizzard warning from the National Weather Service (NWS) that was issued this morning.
The EOC activation will include the County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the County Health and Information Technology departments, County Emergency Health, County Fire Marshal, State Police, the American Red Cross, PA Turnpike, PennDOT, PECO, MetEd and PPL utilities, Pennsylvania Emergency Management (PEMA) and the National Guard.
“We will have our emergency management team in place as the anticipated storm arrives,” Commissioner Chairman Rob Loughery said. “If the forecasts are correct, this event could have significant impacts on our roads and potentially our power suppliers. To that end, we will work closely with our municipal partners and representatives of the utilities that serve our residents to monitor the conditions.”
Storm updates will be posted on the County’s social media sites (@BucksCountyGovt on Twitter and “Bucks County Govt” on Facebook) and the County website, www.BucksCounty.org, as needed.
“The National Weather Service is forecasting 12 to 18 inches of snow for Bucks County with wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour,” Forster explained. “We have had close communications with all municipal and local emergency responders, hospital emergency preparedness leaders, and electric utilities. We advise motorists to only travel as necessary and be prepared for potential power outages that could require a supply of bottled water and non-perishable food in addition to batteries and other non-electric power sources.”
In the event emergency shelter is needed, residents are advised to call their municipality. Power outage problems should be addressed to the utility that serves that residence.
The County EMA cautions all residents to exercise proper generator safety, never running a gas generator indoors or in a closed garage. Residents also are advised to sign up for weather alerts that can be delivered directly via text, e-mail, and land line through the “Ready Bucks” portal, which is located on the County website.