Orleans used app to notify registered residents about gas leak in Holley

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 August 2016 at 4:40 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers A Holley fire truck and firefighter are near the scene of a gas leak on Thursday morning in the Village of Holley. Residents who signed up for the “Orleans Aware” notification system were told to shelter in place with their windows closed.

HOLLEY – On Thursday morning more than 500 people were sent notifications through their phones about a big gas leak in the Village of Holley.

The village residents were told to shelter in place, close their windows and not turn their electricity on or off. This was the first time Orleans County emergency management officials deployed the system while in the field.

Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director, was in Holley, and called a colleague to post information on street closings and safety instructions for village residents. That was sent through the “Orleans Aware” app.

The county introduced that app on May 25. It includes information about hazardous weather, detours, evacuation routes, emergency shelters and the option for families to create their own disaster ready plan for their home.

Some Holley residents complained on the Orleans Hub Facebook page that there should be a robo-call emergency notification system because many didn’t know about the shelter in place message. Banker said Orleans Aware functions as a real-time notification system.

It just needs more people to sign up. Orleans and Genesee were the first two counties to introduce the mobile app on May 25. The county has used the app to send out notices about the Route 98 construction in Albion and Gaines, railroad crossing improvements, and other road projects.

For more information on Orleans Aware, click here and here.