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Mayor Michael Nutter will declare a state of emergency for the city of Philadelphia as Hurricane Sandy approaches beginning at 5 p.m. this evening and will most likely last until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Keep mind that in the Philadelphia area there could be 24 to 36 hours of continuous heavy rain, which combined with powerful winds could take down many trees and cause severe power outages.

If you live in flood prone areas and you have nowhere else to go, you are welcome to stay in one of three Red Cross shelters starting at 4 p.m. today:

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1. West Philadelphia High school at 4901 Chestnut Street

2. Roxborough High School at 6498 Ridge Avenue

3. Fels School at 5500 Langdon Street

You will be allowed to bring your pets and medications. Food will be provided at the shelters.

The public can call the American Red Cross Philadelphia Chapter for questions and help at 215-299-4000 (24-Hour Hot Line) and

Things you need:

  • Non-perishable food like granola bars and energy bars
  • A supply of bottled water for everyone in your home
  • Battery-operated radio for local weather updates
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Adequate supply of your medication for the next several days
  • Shelter-in-Place Kit
  • Evacuation Go Bag

Things to do:

  • Have an evacuation plan
  • Gas up vehicles
  • Secure objects outside
  • If there is a power outage, disconnect or turn off all appliances that would otherwise go on automatically when the power comes back on. If several appliances start up at once, they could overload the circuits.
  • To prevent food spoilage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Never touch or go near downed power lines.

If you do experience a power or service outage, it is important to contact the service provider to report the problem.  Service Provider Contact Information:

PECO Energy Customer Service: 1-800-494-4000

PECO Energy Emergency Hotline: 1-800-841-4141

Philadelphia Water Department (PWD): 215-685-6300

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW): 215-235-1212

For additional information on emergency preparedness or for the latest storm information from the City of Philadelphia, visit

Make sure to check on loved ones and neighbors, especially seniors and those with special needs who may need special assistance or care during the storm.