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Robert Tommy Tomlinson
September Is National Preparedness Month
September is designated as National Preparedness Month as a way to encourage all Americans to prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is urging all state residents to participate in the 30 Days/30 Ways preparedness event to be better equipped to deal with emergencies.
The event allows participants to sign up to receive weekly updates with helpful information regarding how to prepare for a wide variety of emergencies. Participants who complete a survey about their experience could win prizes that are useful in any emergency kit, such as flashlights, phone chargers or a wind-up radio.
More information on creating an emergency kit, creating family emergency plans and other steps to prepare for emergencies is available online at www.ready.pa.gov.
Applications are being accepted through Oct. 18 for the PA Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program.
Funds can be used for construction/renovation, equipment purchase/repair, training, debt reduction and more. Volunteer and career services can apply. Details and applications here.
Grandparents and other extended family members often take on the responsibility of raising children after the unexpected passing of a loved one. The number of children being raised by extended family members has sharply increased in recent years due to the heroin and opioid addiction crisis.
A new hotline has been established to help connect families in kinship care situations with resources that are available to them. The hotline can be reached at 1-866-546-2111 and is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
September is National Recovery Month, a time to spread the word that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those in need to live healthy and rewarding lives.
Need treatment for you or someone you know? Call the Get Help Now Hotline: 1-800-662-4357 to speak with a professional. More information and resources here.
Roundtable Discussions Focus on Preventing Veteran Suicides
We owe all of our veterans a tremendous debt of gratitude for their service. Unfortunately, our men and women in the military are forced to bear incredible burdens. As a result, the suicide rate for veterans is approximately twice as high as the general population.
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee spent the summer holding roundtable discussions on this issue to determine what can be done to reduce the suicide rate among veterans. The discussions focused on federal, state, and local approaches to combat veteran suicide and how to best coordinate efforts moving forward.
I am hopeful that these discussions will result in meaningful action to help some of our country’s bravest citizens. Video and testimony from the hearings is available here.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Applications Still Available
Eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities can still apply for rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2018 through the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
Information and applications for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling toll-free 1-888-222-9190. Property Tax Rent Rebate claim forms and more information are also available at all of my district office locations. I encourage local residents to call my office if they have any questions about the program or the application process.
More information on the program is available here.
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