News For Constituents

From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office

Electric Service Power Outage Preparations

A blackout, brownout, or a power failure from storms or accidents are rarely expected or met with pre-planning, according to the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate. Yet, an estimated 50 million individuals across a wide swath of the U.S. endured the country’s largest blackout during the summer of 2003.

An extended period without power requires preparation, especially for those on medications. The OCA recommends a review of your family’s medications to determine temperature storage requirements. While it is important to keep all refrigerators and freezers closed during power outages, have a small cooler and frozen ice pack on hand for those medications requiring refrigeration. Consult the OCA’s recommendations on preparing for and managing an outage.

Summertime Schemes and Scams

From home improvements to security systems to timeshares, summer is prime time for scams and the scammers who concoct schemes to get your money, according to the PA Office of Attorney General.

Signs of a scam include:

  • Cash only requirement
  • Contests
  • Time-limited offer requires you act immediately
  • Last chance
  • Scare tactics

If you believe you may be the victim of a scam, click on the PA OAG’s “Complaints” page to access the appropriate online or printable complaints form. Your consumer complaint should be sent to the Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 15th Floor, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120. You may wish to call toll free, the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555 for additional guidance in filing your complaint.

Traffic Conditions for Your Travel Convenience

The news may be over but the traffic cameras are always on at 511PA. Devoted to travel information on the go, 511PA offers a range of tools to assess travel conditions, including Traffic Maps, Possible Travel Delays, Weather Alerts, and Weather Forecasts.

Travel delays are available statewide or broken out by eight regions: Altoona/Southern Alleghenies, Capital (Harrisburg/Lancaster/York), Greater Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley (Allentown/ Bethlehem/Easton), Northwestern (Erie), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Poconos, Southwestern (Pittsburgh), and State College/Northern Tier. Use the “Zoom To” tool on the left side of the webpage to select your region of travel.

Make 511PA your connection to reliable, current traffic and weather information, as well as links to other transportation services, whether you are in front of your computer or travelling.

Be Alert, Be Smart, Be Safe!

Summer fun in Pennsylvania often includes a family trip to one or more of the 109 county and community fairs for the amusement rides, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Amusement Ride Safety Program .

Appropriate rider behavior and safety are critical to a safe and fun-filled experience on those rides, according to the Program’s statistics. Seventy percent of ride injuries result from rider error. Observe amusement ride safety recommendations in the “Be Alert, Be Smart, Be Safe!” brochure to avoid injuries.

The Program registers more than 9,300 amusement rides and attractions, as well as trains, and certifies Pennsylvania’s nearly 2,250 private industry inspectors to ensure the mechanical and physical safety of amusement rides.

Tips for Lowering Summer Energy Costs

Seal the drafts, insulate the water heater, and replace incandescent lights. You have heard it before but how long will it take and how much will it really save on your energy bill?

The PA Department of Environmental Protection offers a Resources page with reliable information to help you weatherize and adopt sound conservation techniques. Find tools to calculate savings, how-to-guides, and money-saving energy tips.

Print a copy or save it to your Favorites, the Pennsylvania Home Power Boosters Guide to Home Energy Savings for both quick tips and in-depth information on year-round energy efficiency.

Linking Pennsylvania Jobseekers to Jobs

Jobseekers will find it nearly as simple as, “Employer, meet Employee. Employee, meet Employer,” at the JobGateway website for the PA Department of Labor & Industry.

Everyday, some 3,500 new job openings are posted to add to the approximately 200,000 presently available employment opportunities. Jobseekers can create and upload a resume that, in turn, is available to the thousands of employers searching the site, utilizing its sorting and filtering capabilities to locate the right employee for the job.

This premiere job-matching system allows both the jobseeker and an employer to record search-related activities, free to both parties. The Jobseekers website is secure and password protected to prevent public access to private information.