ReadyPhiladelphia, the City’s free mass notification system, is now available to residents and businesses in 11 different languages, including American Sign Language (ASL). The program is managed by the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, who oversees the city’s crisis communications tools. 

ReadyPhiladelphia delivers emergency and important information direct from official sources like the City of Philadelphia and National Weather Service to enrollees, including severe weather forecasts, storm developments, disaster recovery, shelter-in-place notifications, evacuation instructions, major travel disruptions, and more. 

Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs statistics sourced from the American Community Survey show 24% of Philadelphians speak a language other than English and over 11% have limited English ability, while nearly 13% are bilingual in English and any other language.  To ensure that critical messages reach diverse populations, people can now receive initial ReadyPhiladelphia emergency alerts in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Swahili, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and American Sign Language.  

These messages have been pre-translated to fit dozens of emergency situations that can and do occur in the City of Philadelphia and direct enrollees on where to find further information.  

“Philadelphia is a City of Neighborhoods and diversity throughout its streets shapes its vibrant character,” said Dominick Mireles, Director, Office of Emergency Management. “Together we are stronger. I’m proud to say that delivering emergency messaging and reaching more residents is another step towards serving the community as a whole and ensuring access for all to this critical city service,” Mireles added. 

This innovative project to develop multilingual outreach was made possible by grant funding awarded to OEM through the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer’s Operations Transformation Fund and is part of a larger plan to expand public alert and warning capabilities. 

OEM worked closely with the Office of Immigrant Affairs both to determine what languages should be prioritized, translation, and review of messages and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities who gave insight and informed OEM staff about American Sign Language. 

“I applaud the Office of Emergency Management’s vision and leadership in expanding language access for emergency messages. In an emergency, every minute counts, and having critical information in a language a resident is most comfortable with will save lives,” said Amy Eusebio, Executive Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Furthermore, this expansion of this critical program is another example of why Philadelphia is welcoming: We continuously create policies and programs that support and strengthen immigrant inclusion.” 

All ASL-interpreted messages are communicated by a Certified Deaf Interpreter from the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre. The community was consulted throughout the process, with a focus group hosted by Liberty Resources, Southeastern Pennsylvania’s local Center for Independent Living. All English pre-scripted alerts will feature linked videos in ASL to reach people who are d/Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing and live, work, or visit Philadelphia. 

How to Enroll  

Registering for free alerts and connecting with the City of Philadelphia is easy and important.  

  • If you are new to ReadyPhiladelphia and would like to create an account, visit the sign-up page on the Office of Emergency Management’s website, While making your account, you’ll be asked for the preferred language you wish to receive initial alerts.  
  • If you have an existing ReadyPhiladelphia account and would like to modify your settings to receive alerts in another language, log into the ReadyPhiladelphia website. Choose the option to edit ‘My Information’ and select your preferred language, then click ‘Save’. 

Alerts can be targeted to specific locations, and you can select up to five addresses in Philadelphia. You can get alerts for home, work, school, or other addresses important to you. 

For help signing up over the phone please call 3-1-1. The contact center answers calls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you’re outside of Philadelphia, call (215) 686-8686. Operators will also be able to help you in your preferred language.  

ReadyPhiladelphia FAQs

Share the news with your community!