New emergency app for Chenango County

By Kelly McCarthy

April 24, 2013 Updated Apr 25, 2013 at 1:39 AM EDT

Norwich, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In times of a disaster, some could turn to their smart phones for safety. The city of Norwich and Chenango County Emergency Management Offices have released a new smart phone application.

Chenango County and the city of Norwich worked together to create a one-stop resource for emergency preparedness and response.

The app includes push notifications for information needed before, during and after an emergency like weather radar, road closures and power outages.

"So let's give this to you ahead of time," said Matthew Beckwith, Emergency Management Director of Chenango County. "So you can look at this and make your own decisions on whether you need to evacuate if you live in one of those prone areas."

Beckwith said early warning alerts are key in the event of an emergency.

"Just over the years we've just had so many federal declared disasters," said A. Wesley Jones, Director of Norwich Emergency Management. "Most of them were flood related but also other things. Personal preparedness is becoming much more important to people."

Past disasters fueled this emergency management agency to be the first in New York state with a smart phone app. The information comes from resources that the Emergency Management Center uses to prepare their own areas for disasters.

"What we've done was take all the information we're already doing ... things that we have and are publishing on the internet," said Jones. "And put them into one application where people could see it all at one point without having to go to this website or that website."

The app is free and it's available for Iphone and Android phones. It's designed for those who never find themselves without their mobile phone in hand.

"We're targeting a specific audience," Jones said. "A mobile society, a mobile population that has a smart phone."

It can be found by searching 'Norwich' or 'Chenango' in app stores.

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