The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and Allegheny County officials discussed how flexible disaster emergency declarations allow emergency officials to meet the needs of communities before, during and after an emergency. "Changes to the current disaster declaration process could have the unintended consequence of leaving emergency management professionals facing a number of unknowns that ultimately can impact the continuity of response and recovery operations," PEMA Director Randy Padfield said. "While this scenario can seem implausible to many people, the past year has shown us that we need to expect the unexpected and emergency managers need to have available to them the tools and authorities they need when they need them."