It’s Flood Safety Awareness Week in Pennsylvania and the Wolf Administration encourages Pennsylvanians to be prepared for possible spring and summer flooding.  It’s important to be prepared.

PEMA Acting Director Randy Padfield tells us there are a few things we can do to start to prepare.

First, know the difference between a weather “watch” and a weather “warning”.  A Flood watch means that flooding may occur and to keep an eye on the streams and rivers and be prepared to move to higher ground if necessary.  A Flood warning means that flooding is taking place and residents should act at once and move to higher ground.

Getting a NOAA weather radio is also suggested.  Keep on top of weather alerts on your phone.  Downloading an app is also helpful.  We also do our best at WGOLV to alert the public when there is a Flood Watch or Warning.  We update our social media page of What’s going on in the Lehigh Valley frequently.

Prepare for where you would go in the case of flooding. Make a plan where you would meet your family.  An emergency plan is always important.

He also suggests purchasing flood insurance.  “Since 1993, more than 90 percent of flood reports to the National Weather Service in Pennsylvania have happened outside the identified flood zones,” Padfield said. “Flooding can happen anywhere and since it can take 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect, you need to start the process now.”


Flooding can also pose a problem to your health.  Avoid contact with it.  Floodwater can be toxic and dangerous according to  Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.  She said, “Sewage and hazardous materials are often found in floodwater, which contaminates water sources and can lead to gastrointestinal illness. Sharp objects, such as glass and other damaged objects can also be found in the water, these can cause injuries and infections such as tetanus.”


Also, please never drive or walk through flood waters. It can be a real danger. 

More than half of all flood-related deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous, fast-moving flood water.



More information can be found on the Ready.PA web site.  It includes how to prepare, what to do for people with specialized needs and pets.