Orleans County Emergency Management Urges Residents to Prepare for Solar Eclipse

Orleans County Emergency Management today released information to help residents prepare for the upcoming solar eclipse and the significant increase in visitors and traffic volume that is expected to result.  Emergency Management also encouraged residents to download its free app, called Orleans Aware, to receive important notifications during the eclipse event.  The eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8th.

“Our office is in full preparation mode right now, planning for what could be hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to the region,” said Justin Niederhofer, Director of Orleans County Emergency Management.  “I encourage residents to do the same.  We know from previous eclipse events in other communities across the country that the disruption can be significant.”

Niederhofer said residents should schedule all non-urgent errands and appointments prior to April 5th or after April 8th.  In addition, people should ensure they have enough essential supplies such as groceries, prescription medications and fuel prior to April 5th.

Solar Eclipse - Glasses wQR

“The movement of people is our biggest concern, which is one of the reasons all area schools are closed on April 8,” said Niederhofer.  “To the extent that people can avoid traveling during the peak time, please do so, and if you must go somewhere, allow for extra time.


Niederhofer said the expectation is first responders will be in high demand, which means the ability to reach people in need is paramount.  There is concern that some, especially from out-of-town, may pull off to the roadside or onto the shoulder to view the eclipse, which is unsafe.

“Make a plan for where you to intend to watch the eclipse and ensure you have necessary eclipse glasses to protect your eyes,” said Niederhofer.  “Our four local libraries have free eclipse glasses for residents while supplies last.”

Last, Niederhofer said Emergency Management has sped up the release of its new app, Orleans Aware, to be utilized during the solar eclipse. This will allow the agency to connect with residents and visitors, providing information quickly and efficiently to anyone with a smartphone.

 “It is imperative for us to be able to reach out to the community quickly in the event of any type of emergency situation,” said Niederhofer.  “Plus, this app is a joint effort with our Health Department, allowing us to provide information on a host of public health and safety issues going forward.”

 The app is available via the QR code below or at https://apps.myocv.com/share/a84314020.

Orleans Aware QR Code