What’s the meaning of “State of Emergency”?

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - You've probably been hearing the words "State of Emergency" a lot with the upcoming winter storm-- but don't panic.

A state of emergency is when agencies can use any resources they have, including money and crews, to deal with the situation. It also allows the state to hire outside contractors so they can help with problems, like snow, right away.

"We look at a perspective county, work with that county emergency management agency," Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Rick Flinn said.  "If there is a guard resource needed, they'll work with them. That will come up to the state EOC and we'll have a mission to assign them to to do what they need to do."

PEMA officials say their agency is also fully staffed during a state of emergency.

Many of our local cites and towns are also under a "Snow Emergency." This has to do with the roadways used as snow emergency routes. If you have a car parked on a road that is a designated snow emergency route you will be ticketed and possibly towed.

Local police departments are warning that even after a route is cleared of snow, you may not return your vehicle to the snow emergency route until the snow emergency is lifted.  For many areas that isn't until Sunday.

To see if your area is under a snow emergency click our closing page and go to the "Government tab."