By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) — Governor Corbett is already asking for a federal disaster declaration as Hurricane Sandy approaches. The governor briefed reporters on preparations for the storm at PEMA headquarters in suburban Harrisburg on Sunday.

Corbett urged Pennsylvanians to take Sandy seriously and not be fooled by what may appear to be a less than intimidating categorization of the storm. The governor asked residents to find a safe place and remain there for the duration of the storm, warning it may cause power outages, flooding and wind damage to the state.

“Essentially, this is a Hurricane wrapped in a Nor’easter,” Corbett said.

The governor said 1,600 Pennsylvania National Guard troops are on stand-by. Glenn Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said some of those troops were already on duty Sunday at Fort Indiantown Gap, a suburb east of Harrisburg, which is being used as a staging area.

“You would see tractor-trailer trucks coming in,” Cannon said, “and beginning to stage well before the impacts are felt in our community.”

Cannon also said since last year’s storms, a statewide emergency management information system has been installed, so that county emergency operations centers can communicate directly with the state emergency operations center.

Corbett said as many as 4-million Pennsylvanians could be affected by the storm.

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