Monday, August 24, 2015

Papal Visit Playbook Released by City, State and World Meeting of Families. Outlines Events and Provides Residents with Useful Information for WMOF and Pope Francis Visit

August 24, 2015

The City of Philadelphia, along with the State of Pennsylvania and the World Meeting of Families, launched the "Papal Visit Playbook" today.

The online guide, which can be found here or on the WMOF website at www.worldmeeting2015.org, is a comprehensive online guide for residents of Philadelphia as well as the surrounding counties and states.

The Papal Playbook provides people with a broad overview of information related to the World Meeting of Families Congress and Pope Francis's visit.

The guide includes a complete outline of the event itself, recommendations on how residents can participate, transportation information, special events for residents prior too the pope's arrival, emergency notification information, pet care considerations, city service information, and additional resources to support residents.

The City of Philadelphia created a special section on its website that contains the latest information released by the mayor's office, including resources for residents and business owners along with maps of Center City Philadelphia that will be affected by Pope Francis' visit.

To sign up for City of Philadelphia OEM alerts regarding emergency or weather information, go to and click on the "ReadyPhiladelphia" icon.

Follow us on Twitter @PhilaOEM, Like us on Facebook for important information and updates.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Deadline Approaching July 31st For ReadyPhiladelphia Emergency Alert Enrollment.

Those who were registered under ReadyNotifyPA have three weeks to sign up for OEM’s new system to continue receiving important information.
           One of the alerts sent out during last night’s thunderstorm warning of flooding

By Jeffrey D. Kolakowski July 10, 2015 @PhilaOEM

Last night, thunderstorms rolled through Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. If you signed up for alerts though Philadelphia's Office of Emergency Management, you received real time texts, calls or emails warning you of severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings.

Important as there was heavy rain and lightning over a prolonged period. Philadelphia Police also reported road closures due to street flooding.

Recently, ReadyNotifyPA transitioned to ReadyPhiladelphia, an important service providing emergency alerts from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

The safety of our neighbors in the city is our biggest concern, and being prepared is a huge part of being safe.

That is why we want to call attention to those who were registered previously with ReadyNotifyPA. You must create a new account with ReadyPhiladelphia in the coming weeks to continue receiving alerts.

If you do not do so by July 31, 2015, you will not receive important information that is valuable to you.

We ask that you please register at and click on “Sign Up For Alerts”. There you will have options to sign up for any or all of email, text, voice call or a mobile app with push notifications.

With ReadyPhiladelphia, you can sign up to get alerts about disasters, local emergencies, weather issues, and other important information. Some alerts may include evacuations and shelter in place instructions, and the locations of emergency evacuation shelters for the public.

We can send alerts to multiple devices: your home, business phone, smartphones and other mobile devices.  

You will be able to get notifications for up to five addresses, such as home, work, and schools in Philadelphia that are important locations to you.

The time to prepare for an emergency is not in the middle of one. In an emergency, you’re either ready or not.

Enrolling in ReadyPhiladelphia is an important step that takes minutes.

If you were not a customer of ReadyNotifyPA, we love seeing new names. Please go to and click “Sign Up For Alerts” as well.

Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Philadelphia: City of Neighborhoods and Neighbors Looking Out for One Another


By Jeffrey Kolakowski  July 8, 2015 @PhilaOEM

Last night, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management staff attended an event held by FEMA regarding new flood hazard maps released by the federal agency.

Residents of the city who live in flood prone areas showed up to South Philadelphia High School to learn about how their insurance would be affected, learn more about their flood risk and view updates shown on the preliminary maps.

OEM staff had a table set up at the event where we provided information on everything from evacuation routes to pet and personal preparation for an emergency as well as explaining the revamped ReadyPhiladelphia alert system.

The trait that impressed OEM the most was the caring for neighbors exhibited by those who attended the event. Many block captains visited our table to pick up information and resources to give out to those who could not attend. Many of these people came to the event just for that information as they were not directly affected by an increase in insurance rate.

We were also impressed that every person we spoke to was signed up for ReadyPhiladelphia alerts, whether by email, text or phone.

Being raised here, I know Philadelphia is a “City of Neighborhoods”. Although some neighborhoods have changed names and faces, it was great to see a “constant” with which I grew up: neighbors looking out for one another.

If you would like to sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia alerts, which inform you of weather issues or emergency information you need to be aware of, go to

Information regarding emergency preparedness, evacuation routes and preparedness workshops is also available on that same site.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence Day Weekend BBQing: Don't Leave Your Guests with a Bad Feeling in Their Stomach

July 4th Weekend Means Millions of Americans Grilling

Advice to not leave you BBQ guests “illing”.

By Jeffrey D. Kolakowski July 3, 2015  @PhilaOEM

Being considered a “grill master” is a source of pride. Poor grilling can be a source of sickness.

According to the City of Philadelphia Health Department website, roughly one in six Americans, around 48 million people, get sick from food poisoning each year. CDC numbers also say that 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

Food poisoning can be contracted by anyone who eats contaminated food which contains viruses, bacteria or other unfavorable ingredients. There is a high risk group, like older adults, pregnant women and those with weaker immune system, who may be more prone to becoming ill and may see more severe reactions to food poisoning.
Since bacteria is not visible to the human eye, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says the best way to ensure good grilling is to check the internal temperature.

The USDA came up with the acronym PRO to remind grillers of three easy steps to make sure your guests are doubled over in laughter from having a good time rather than doubled over in pain.

Information below from the USDA website

P—Place the Thermometer!
Think your food is ready? Make sure by checking the internal temperature. Find the thickest part of the meat (usually about 1.5 to 2 inches deep), and insert the thermometer. If you’re cooking a thinner piece of meat, like chicken breasts or hamburger patties, insert the thermometer from the side.  Make sure that the probe reaches the center of the meat.

R—Read the Temperature!
Wait about 10 to 20 seconds for an accurate temperature reading.  Use the following safe internal temperature guidelines for your meat and poultry.
·        Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3-minute rest time
·        Ground meats: 160 °F
·        Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F 

O—Off the Grill!
Once the meat and poultry reach their safe minimum internal temperatures, take the food off the grill and place it on a clean platter.  Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.  Also remember to clean your food thermometer probe with hot, soapy water or disposable wipes.

For more information about food poisoning, visit:

To sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia text or email alerts from the Office of Emergency Management, visit