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Philadelphia Flood Safety

What to Do When the Rivers Rise


The Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers provide Philadelphia with shipping ports, tourism and some beautiful waterfront areas, but they can easily become dangerous during heavy storms.  Below are some steps to follow to stay safe (and, hopefully, dry) during a Philadelphia flood.

1. Watch for flood warnings

Issued by the National Weather Service, flood warnings will be reported by local news organizations and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management

2. Check storm drains

Take a look at storm drains in your backyard or on the street to make sure they aren't clogged and are draining properly.  Clear any blockage-causing debris.

3. Avoid flooded areas

The Philadelphia section of ReadyNotifyPA, the Pennsylvania alert system, will report on road closings, flooded areas and rerouted SEPTA lines.  Do not try to walk or drive through flooding.

4. Report danger

Call 911 for emergencies.  Or, if you see someone who you think is homeless and needs shelter during a weather emergency, call the outreach hotline at 215-232-1984.

5. Stay safe

If you're in a flooded area, move to higher ground and evacuate your home if necessary.  The City of Philadelphia usually sets up shelters during periods of heavy flooding; information about shelters can be found on the Office of Emergency Management's website.

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