News for Constituents

Vehicles Affected by Hurricanes May Appear For Sale in PA

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the PA Insurance Department are reminding potential buyers that a wave of vehicles frequently appear for sale after major floods.

Auto salvage fraud is perpetrated by unscrupulous sellers and dealers attempting to sell flood-damaged vehicles as new or used without having an enhanced vehicle safety inspection and salvage certificate indicating it is a flood or reconstructed flood vehicle.

The PA Insurance Department recommends assessing vehicles for signs of damage and potential auto salvage fraud.  In addition, check the VIN on a trusted website for a previous flood or damage claim.


Chronic Wasting Disease Now in Thirteen PA Counties  

Pennsylvania is one of 21 states with reported cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer in 13 Pennsylvania counties, according to the PA Game Commission (PGC).

Disease Management Areas (DMAs), established by Executive Order of the Game Commission Executive Director, restrict the removal of high risk deer and elk parts from the areas in order to control any spread of CWD.  PA’s Disease Management Areas continue to expand annually with new detections of CWD.

Visible signs of CWD typically include staggering, drooling, wasting, or unusual behavior and should be reported to the nearest Game Commission Regional Office.  CWD has no known treatment or vaccine and is fatal to deer and elk.  The PGC is offering harvest recommendations and free CWD tests of deer harvested in a DMA.


Get Outdoors for Autumn Fun in PA  

When autumn’s chill begins, outdoor recreation takes on new life in Pennsylvania’s 20 state forests and 121 state parks, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, hunting, and boating are among the diverse recreational opportunities across 300,000 acres of state parks and 2.2 million acres of forestland in 48 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

Enjoy a planned event or head out along one of 18 designated state forest hiking trails to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smell of the autumn air.  Reservations can be made for campsites, cabins, picnic pavilions, whitewater boat launch time permits, and more.


Simplify Emergency Planning with Checklists

Pennsylvanians watching the wrath of recent storms are encouraged to prepare for possible emergencies, according to the PA Emergency Management Agency.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Preparedness Guide provides numerous checklists for simple preparations:

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan – p. 6
  • Home Emergency Kit – p. 7 and 8
  • Children, Adults and those with Special Needs and Older Residents – p. 9 and 12-15, 21-23
  • Managing Important Documents – p. 9
  • Vehicle Emergency Kit – p. 10

Before the next emergency, let ReadyPA help you prepare to weather the storm during and after an emergency with a minimum of three days of supplies.  Extra precaution is encouraged with regard to medicine, with recommendations for at least a one week supply.  Each family member should have a completed “Emergency Plan – Important Medical Information” card (see p. 23), to include contact numbers, special needs, medications, and allergies.


Make Pets Prominent in Emergency Planning  

Consider the types of disasters that can occur in your area along with the potential length and depth of each possible scenario and your pet’s needs during that time.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge planning for the unexpected.

Prepare a pet plan and a disaster kit accordingly.  Begin with a carrier or crate, collar and leash, tags, and a microchip.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a Pet Disaster Kit checklist.

Contact local government officials for details on emergency transportation and shelter options.  Include contact with your veterinarian, boarding facilities, animal shelters, and the Humane Society for shelter recommendations, should it become necessary in the future.  A list of pet-friendly hotels is an advisable addition to your plan.


Give Your Vehicle a Regular Checkup  

Maintaining vehicles beyond required inspections saves lives, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  A study of Pennsylvania’s vehicle safety inspection program encourages vehicle operators to be vigilant in the self-inspection of their motor vehicles on a regular basis.

Beyond the PennDOT-required inspection, weekly and monthly vehicle maintenance checkups are recommended.

Weekly Check:

  • Tire pressure, tread, condition;
  • Oil level;
  • Battery terminal condition and leakage;
  • Engine compartment fluid leaks;
  • Radiator fluid level; and
  • Headlights, tail lights, turn signals, horn, fuel cap, and seat belts.

Monthly Check:

  • Mirrors and windows free of cracks, damage and inoperable mechanisms;
  • Lights and flashers;
  • Windshield wiper blades;
  • Power steering, brake, transmission, oil, and battery fluid levels and operating condition; and
  • Spare tire, jack, and emergency equipment.

Take a few minutes during your next gas station fill up to run down the weekly check list, while designating monthly check ups as a beginning or end of the month project to maintain optimal operating conditions.