Subzero temperatures don't sink Pike

| 26 Feb 2015 | 03:28

— How are local residents managing, with little relief from extreme cold temperatures for many weeks now, and no end in sight?

Pike County Emergency Services Director Tom Knapp said residents and businesses seem to be coping well with the cold, although the EMS center in Lords Valley has seen a spike in calls regarding carbon monoxide alarms. But there have been no accidents.

“The people are doing well to manage the cold,” he said.

The EMS Center monitors power outages around the clock. In the case of long outages, EMS personnel open warming centers. As luck would have it, outages haven't been a problem this season, despite its share of storms.

“This year, we haven’t had the warming center open except for one day, and nobody came,” said Knapp. The power came back within an hour.

“We work closely with the three area power companies, Orange and Rockland, PPL Pennsylvania, and Med Ed," he said. "We contact them immediately when there’s a power outage to find out how long it’s likely to last to determine whether to open warming centers or not."

The warming centers could be "anywhere," he said, but the commodious EMS Center in Lords Valley can easily function as one.

Knapp said the organization also keeps in touch with the office for the aging, to keep an eye on senior citizens who might need some help.

“We advise limiting time outside, and don’t do things 'out of the box,'" he said. "Ask for help if needed."

He said neighbors should check on each other, especially on seniors. Checking alarm batteries and keeping emergency kits in cars are also good practices.

The Pike County Emergency Management Facebook page is kept continuously updated.

Help with heating billsThe Pennsylvania Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program that helps low income households pay their heating bills through energy assistance grants. For more information, call the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095, or contact Pike County Assistance Office 570-296-6114.