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Northampton County Emergency Managment switches from Cooper Notification ( to the CodeRED Community Notification System


Northampton County Emergency Managment switches from Cooper Notification ( to the CodeRED Community Notification System
New high-speed notification solution for time-sensitive messages and alerts

Nazareth, PA – [October 31, 2016] – Northampton County Emergency Management is proud to announce the launch of our new CodeRED community notification system to send important alerts and time-sensitive messages to staff members and residents. Along with emergency and critical messages, the CodeRED notification system can also enhance our community engagement via the release of important but non-emergency information. The CodeRED community notification system is provided by the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Counter Terrorism Task Force to their eight county region.

“Upon evaluating our current notification system and other available options, we chose CodeRED for its innovative features, user-friendly platform, and information security,” said Todd Weaver, Acting Director. “Their company-owned redundant data centers help ensure our data is safe, and that we will be able to send messages to thousands of individuals within minutes.

Registration for this notification service is customized, allowing residents to choose which alerts they’d like to sign up for and how they would prefer to receive them. Residents can choose several different methods: landline, cell phone, email, text message, TTY, or even a combination. These alerts can be specific to streets, neighborhoods, or regions so that residents in affected areas are sure to receive this valuable information.

Additionally, residents and visitors alike can keep track of alerts in our County with the CodeRED Mobile App, which notifies smartphone holders of real-time alerts in the area. Similar to the online registration, users choose which notifications they’d like to receive via the app. Authorized county personnel will have access to the ECN Launcher – an app that allows officials to create and send messages on the go from any smartphone or tablet within seconds, without requiring a computer.

“The mobile technology for CodeRED is extremely advanced, providing us enhanced flexibility to issue general and/or emergency messages,” said Todd Weaver. “We can launch alerts from anywhere at any time, and residents potentially impacted by weather and other time sensitive events will receive them directly to their smartphones. This all happens within seconds, which can make a huge difference in saving lives.”

All residents are encouraged to visit and click the CodeRED icon at the bottom left of the page to sign up for CodeRED and immediately start receiving these informative, life-saving alerts.

Community Enrollment Flyer



State Agencies Urge Pennsylvanians to Prepare for Emergencies during National Preparedness Month






September 6, 2016


State Agencies Urge Pennsylvanians to Prepare for Emergencies during National Preparedness Month

Harrisburg, PA – State officials will be reminding citizens throughout September to prepare for emergencies as part of National Preparedness Month, a nationwide month-long effort to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies.


This year’s NPM theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” People can learn more by following the hashtag #NatlPrep on Facebook and Twitter.


“With families being more mobile and involved in multiple activities, it’s very likely that an emergency could happen when everyone isn’t together,” said Richard D. Flinn Jr, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. “Having a family emergency plan ensures that everyone knows who they should contact to report that they’re safe and where they will meet in case they can’t get back home.”


Flinn said that simple steps can be taken now to prepare a family, school, workplace or community for any type of incident that would disrupt the day-to-day routine. Citizens are encouraged to visit to find sample checklists, contact lists and other preparedness tools to take advantage of before an emergency occurs.


“Once you’ve created a plan, it’s important to practice it just as you would practice a fire drill at work or at school,” said Flinn. “Another important step is to build a basic emergency kit so you have enough food, water, medicine and other essential supplies to sustain your family including your pets without any outside assistance for at least three days.”


In particular, people should think about loved ones who may have special needs that could inhibit their ability to help themselves.


“The best defense during an emergency is knowing what to do,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. “This is especially important for those who may need more help during emergencies, like children, older Pennsylvanians, and individuals with access and functional needs.”


Those who take medicine or use a medical treatment every day should also be sure to have enough on hand to last for at least one week, as well as keep a list of prescriptions, including the name of the medicine, dosage and any other directions.


Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said Pennsylvanians should review their homeowners policy and understand what will be covered and steps that you need to take to file claims if their property is damaged. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends that homeowners insure their property at replacement value rather than actual cash value to help cover costs should extensive repairs or a full replacement be deemed necessary. You should also keep an inventory and photos of your personal belongings so you have a detailed record if any are damaged after a storm.

If you rent your home or apartment, the property owner’s policy that covers the rental unit may not cover your personal belongings. It is important that you obtain a renters insurance policy to protect your belongings in the event of storm damage.

“Planning ahead and understanding what you’ll need to know if your property is damaged can ease the recovery process,” said Commissioner Miller. “It is important that you know what is covered by your homeowners or renters insurance and whether you should consider additional coverage like flood insurance.”

Miller said damage from flooding is not covered by a homeowners insurance policy. In addition, renters insurance does not cover property damage from weather-related floods. Flood insurance must be obtained separately and is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and through some private insurers.

For more information on homeowners and flood insurance, visit or contact the department at 1-877-881-6388.

For free preparedness resources such as a checklist, personal preparedness plans and instructional videos, visit Follow @ReadyPA on Twitter and like for additional helpful tips and information.



Media contacts:    Ruth Miller, PEMA: 717-651-2009;

April Hutcheson, DOH: 717-787-1783
Ali Fogarty, Insurance: 717-787-3289



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PennDOT, State Police Urge Drivers to Plan Ahead, Designate a Sober Driver for Independence Day Holiday

PennDOT left-cmykstate_police_logo     


June 30, 2016

PennDOT, State Police Urge Drivers to Plan Ahead, Designate a Sober Driver for Independence Day Holiday

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania State Police and local police are partnering to help decrease alcohol and drug- related crashes and fatalities, as well as aggressive driving behavior, through the Independence Day holiday weekend. 


“Though Independence Day is a time for celebration, we urge Pennsylvanians to plan ahead and designate a sober driver throughout the holiday weekend,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Drivers should also avoid aggressive driving behavior and always wear your seat belt so that we all get to our destinations safety and spend time with family and friends.” 


According to PennDOT data, last year there were 330 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 fatalities from Friday, June 26, to Sunday, July 5. This marked an increase from 2014, when there were 326 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities from Friday June 27th through Sunday July 6, 2014. Also, during the holiday period last year, there were 99 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in those crashes, an increase from 85 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in 2014. 


Police this year will focus their enforcement efforts on speeders, aggressive drivers, seat-belt use and those who drink and drive during the holiday period.


“We urge motorists to buckle up and use caution when traveling over the holiday,” said State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker. “Troopers will be on the lookout for traffic violations and impaired drivers, so please obey the speed limit and don’t get behind the wheel impaired. To ensure motorists get to their destinations safely, remember to keep distractions to a minimum while driving.”

As part of this high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement effort, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT’s statewide distribution of more than $4.7 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


The public can join the conversation on social media by using #drivesober and #designateddriver. 

Visit for more information on impaired driving and PennDOT’s other traffic-safety initiatives.


MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Schoch, PennDOT, 717-783-8800; Adam Reed, State Police, 717-783-5556

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State Officials Remind Citizens to Follow State Laws, Practice Safety When Using Fireworks



June 30, 2016

 State Officials Remind Citizens to Follow State Laws, Practice Safety When Using Fireworks

 Harrisburg, PA – With the fourth of July holiday fast approaching, all Pennsylvanians are being reminded to stay safe and follow state law when enjoying fireworks displays as a part of their celebrations.

“Every year, what should be a time to honor America with family and friends turns tragic somewhere,” said State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay. “Following common-sense safety guidelines can prevent these tragedies and help you create lasting happy memories.”

Pennsylvania law allows consumers to use only small “novelty” fireworks, such as sparklers and trick noise makers. These fireworks can be sold by retail establishments with valid permits.

“With the upcoming holiday weekend, families and friends will come together for cookouts, picnics or even weekend trips,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “As a part of these festivities, there may be fireworks on display. If you are planning to use fireworks as a part of your events, either this weekend or for future activities, please be sure to purchase those fireworks from licensed dealers within the commonwealth.”

All display fireworks that are shot into the air and burst into a large, colorful display, like those seen at organized celebrations and sporting events, are prohibited for use by consumers.

Solobay shared the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors, away from structures, automobiles, etc.
  • Always have water handy.
  • Use fireworks only as intended. Read and follow all directions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Never attempt to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water prior to disposal.
  • Use common sense. Anyone igniting fireworks should wear safety glasses, and spectators should stay a safe distance away.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives – illegal fireworks should be reported to local law enforcement.
  • Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type. Sparklers should only be used under close adult supervision.
  • Always remain standing and at least six feet from others while using sparklers.
  • Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.
  • Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person.
  • Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out.  Be sure to drop the spent sparkler directly into a bucket of water.

Officials added that there are a number of safe, fun ways to celebrate the holidays with loved ones without fireworks, such as: using glow sticks; red, white and blue bubbles; or silly string.

Media contacts:

Ruth A. Miller, OSFC: 717-651-2009

Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Agriculture: 717-787-5085


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PA Game

Release #40-16


May 20, 2016

For Information Contact:

Travis Lau




Whether in their backyards or high on a mountain, it’s almost certain Pennsylvanians will encounter young wildlife this time of year.

While some young animals might appear to be abandoned, usually they are not. It’s likely their mothers are watching over them from somewhere nearby.

So when encountering young deer, birds, raccoons or other young wildlife, the best thing people can do is leave the animals alone.

“Most people want to do what they can to help wildlife, and when they see a young animal that appears to be abandoned, they want to intervene,” said Wayne Laroche, the Game Commission wildlife management director. “What they don’t realize is that, in all likelihood, they’re doing more harm than good.

“Those young animals probably aren’t abandoned at all, meaning that anyone stepping in to try to help not only is taking that youngster away from its mother, but also destroying its chances to grow up as it was intended,” he said.

Adult animals often leave their young while they forage for food, but they don’t go far and they do return. Wildlife also often relies on a natural defensive tactic called the “hider strategy,” where young animals will remain motionless and “hide” in surrounding cover while adults draw the attention of potential predators or other intruders away from their young.

Deer employ this strategy, and fawns sometimes are assumed to be abandoned when, in fact, their mothers are nearby.

The Game Commission urges Pennsylvanians to resist the urge to interfere with young wildlife or remove any wild animal from its natural setting.

Such contact can be harmful to both people and wildlife. Wild animals can lose their natural fear of humans, making it difficult, even impossible, for them to ever again live normally in the wild. And anytime wildlife is handled, there’s always a risk people could contract diseases or parasites such as fleas, ticks and lice.

Wildlife that becomes habituated to humans also can pose a public-safety risk. A few years ago, a yearling, six-point buck attacked and severely injured two people. The investigation into the incident revealed that a neighboring family had illegally taken the deer into their home and fed it as a fawn, and they continued to feed the deer right up until the time of the attack.

It is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild.  Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal.

Under no circumstances will anyone who illegally takes wildlife into captivity be allowed to keep that animal, and under a working agreement with state health officials, any “high risk” rabies vector species confiscated after human contact must be euthanized and tested; it cannot be returned to the wild because the risk of spreading disease is too high.

Animals infected with rabies might not show obvious symptoms, but still might be able to transmit the disease. Though any mammal might carry rabies, the rabies vector species identified in the agreement are: skunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, coyotes and groundhogs.

People can get rabies from the saliva of a rabid animal if they are bitten or scratched, or if the saliva gets into the person’s eyes, mouth or a fresh wound.

Only wildlife rehabilitators, who are licensed by the Game Commission, are permitted to care for injured or orphaned wildlife for the purposes of eventual release back into the wild.  For those who find wildlife that truly is in need of assistance, a listing of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators website,

If you are unable to identify a wildlife rehabilitator in your area, contact the Game Commission region office that serves the county in which the animal is found so that you can be referred to the appropriate licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Region office contact information can be found through the “Connect with Us” tab on the agency’s website,


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