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Posted on: September 4, 2015

PEMA Urges Citizens to Utilize Free Smartphone App to Prepare for Emergencies

ReadyPA App

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvanians can use free tools available from the ReadyPA app to take simple steps to make sure they’re ready for any type of incident. September is National Preparedness Month, a nationwide month-long effort to encourage households, b...Read on...

Visit ReadyPA website
Posted on: September 2, 2015

Aerial Activity - Black Fly Spraying Sept 2 and 3, 2015

Black Fly Suppression Pgm

An aerial black fly suppression operation has been scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, September 2 and 3, 2015. Youghiogheny, Kiskiminetas, and Conemaugh Rivers along with Connoquenessing, Slippery Rock, Mahoning, Redbank, and Loyalhanna Creeks will be treated. This operation will begin at 0800, weather permitting, in Connellsville, Fayette County. Flights will be conducted in Fayette, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Indiana, Cambria, Clarion, Lawrence, Beaver, and Butler counties. The helicopter conducting the treatment will be a gray Bell 206 with red and blue stripes and N653HA tail number .

Helicopter Applicators, Inc. will be dispersing Vectobac 12AS, which is a Bti product manufactured by Valent Biosciences. Bti is short for Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis, which is a bacterial larvicide, not a chemical, and is the only product used in Pennsylvania's waterways for black fly suppression. Vectobac 12AS is a thick brown liquid resembling chocolate milk. The helicopter will fly low near tree top level and release the Vectobac 12AS at various predetermined positions on each stream. Read on...

Learn more about the Black Fly Suppression Program
Posted on: August 28, 2015

Press Release - Mosquito Spraying Set for Westmoreland County on August 31

PA dept of EP.png

Mosquito Spraying Set for Westmoreland County on August 31

Pittsburgh, PA – The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a mosquito control operation to reduce high populations of mosquitoes on August 31, 2015, in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County.

The treatments will be administered via truck-mounted equipment, spraying residential mosquito habitats. The equipment dispenses Biomist 3+15 ULV at a rate of 1.5-3.0 ounces per acre.

These products are designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations. The application materials have a very low toxicity profile to mammals and are safe for the environment.

Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.

So far in 2015, West Nile virus has been detected in Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Snyder, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, and York counties.

Weather conditions and other unexpected events could delay or cancel this spray operation. If conditions do not allow application on August 31, 2015, the following evening will serve as the back-up spray date.

Individuals can take a number of precautionary measures around their homes to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:

• Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar containers that hold water.
• Properly dispose of discarded tires that can collect water. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.• Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
• Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year as the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug drains.• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and don't let water stagnate in birdbaths.• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use and remove any water that may collect on pool covers.

If a resident has stagnant pools of water on their property, they can buy Bti products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacterium kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.

Additionally, these simple precautions can prevent mosquito bites, particularly for people who are most at risk:

• Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.• Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.
• When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.• Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picardin, or lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.

For more information about West Nile virus and the state's surveillance and control program, please visit www.westnile.state.pa.us.

MEDIA CONTACT: John Poister,Read on...

Posted on: August 17, 2015

Staying Safe in Extreme Heat

Extreme Heat Tips

During an extreme heat event, check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day. The elderly, people with a chronic medical condition, children, homeless or poor, outdoor workers, and athletes are most at-risk to heat sickness.

View CDC brochure
Posted on: December 11, 2014

Westmoreland County All-Hazards Mitigation Plan

Westmoreland County’s Department of Public Safety is pleased to announce the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated status of “Approved Pending Adoption” of the countywide Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).

The Westmoreland County Board of C...Read on...

Hazard Mitigation Plan website