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Flood Warning Extended

Most flood deaths occur in automobiles because flood waters are typically deeper than they appear. Here are tips to stay safe:

The National Weather Service flood warning for the Schuylkill River in Pottstown remains in effect through 4:21 a.m. Thursday. 

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the river stage was at 13.4 feet. Flood stage is 12.5 feet, and the river is expected to reach 17.7 feet by Thursday evening, according to the NWS.

Most flood deaths occur in automobiles because flood waters are typically deeper than they appear. Highway and emergency management officials warn folks to avoid flooded areas.

The PA Dept. of Transportation reminds motorists they can log on to 511Route.com or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions on major highways before heading out. To learn more, visit www.dot.state.pa.us. 

Additionally, the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter teaches tips to prevent or reduce damage from fire, flood, hurricane, power outage, or other disasters:

"The recent earthquake, Hurricane Irene and other disasters families experience should remind folks of how important it is to be prepared," a Red Cross news release states.

September is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania offers life and property saving tips to prevent or reduce the damage done by a fire, flood, hurricane, power outage or other disaster.

"It’s called being Red Cross Ready, the release states. "The program's principles are: Get a kit, make a plan, be informed."

Folks should build an emergency preparedness kit, make a family plan -- that includes pets -- for an emergency and be informed of resources available.

“Being prepared today can save lives tomorrow,” said American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter CEO Renee Cardwell Hughes. “You are your best defense against emergencies. The Red Cross can show you what simple steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your loved ones for emergencies.”

The organization recommends each emergency preparedness kit contain enough supplies for three days in case there's a need to evacuate.

The Red Cross also suggests having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home including water -- one gallon, per person, per day -- nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, a seven-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents.

Make sure each person knows how to reach each other and an out-of-area emergency contact person in case local phone lines are jammed.

"Being informed means knowing what resources are available and what types of disasters are most likely to occur where you live, learn, work and play," the release states.

Take a first aid and CPR/AED course—a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.

Through September, the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania is partnering with various groups, like the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Target, and the Office of Emergency Management to host and participate in a series of events to make sure Philadelphia area residents, businesses, community groups, and governments are prepared for any emergency.

"Because social media plays an important role in emergency preparedness, the Red Cross will provide a preparedness tip of the day via Redcrossphilly.org, Twitter and Facebook," the release states.

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