The Weather Is Philly Emergency Management's Biggest Worry for Democratic National Convention - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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The Weather Is Philly Emergency Management's Biggest Worry for Democratic National Convention

It's expected to feel like 100+ degrees for parts of the week and severe thunderstorms are possible

The Weather Is Philly Emergency Management's Biggest Worry for Democratic National Convention
Heat rises from Broad Street next to fences erected for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in South Philadelphia.

The summer sun has the folks running Philadelphia's Emergency Management office most concerned heading into next week's Democratic National Convention.

Noelle Foizen, OEM's Deputy Director for Public Affairs, said the office is ready to handle any emergency that may happen during the four day political event but that they'll be most focused on severe heat and storms.

Dangerous heat will be enveloping the city for the duration of the convention. Heat indices -- how hot it feels -- could max out at 110 degrees on Monday, the first day of the convention. That's when the largest number of protests and marches are scheduled with tens of thousands of protesters expected to hit the streets.

"If you’re out protesting, the pavement will absorb the heat and hold on to it long after the sun goes down, in something called the 'urban heat island effect,'" says NBC10 First Alert Weather meteorologist David Parkinson.

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OEM is staffing two medic tents and two misting tents as well as providing water inside FDR Park, where the activists are permitted to demonstrate during the DNC.

Medics will also follow scheduled marches down Broad Street, pallets of bottled water will be dropped along the routes and sprinkler caps will be put on fire hydrants along the thoroughfare, Foizen said.

While the weather is top of mind for Foizen and her team, she says the office is poised to jump into action should a major disaster happen, like a terrorist attack.

The DNC is similar in size to the Philadelphia Flower Show and as complex from a security standpoint as the Army-Navy Game. Both are annual events.

"Philadelphia has a lot of experience coordinating large public events, and public safety is prepared and ready to host the DNC next week," she said.

The city's Emergency Operations Center will be activated Sunday afternoon and stay open through the week with local, state and federal authorities staffing it.

Foizen encourages residents to sign up for emergency alerts through Ready Philadelphia to learn how to react should an emergency happen. During the DNC, the office plans to send a daily alert with expected weather conditions, safety information and expected traffic disruptions.