In an effort to keep people safe and informed, folks who live near refinery row in Corpus Christi will receive special alerts anytime there's an emergency at one of the nearby plants.
But many residents say the notification system, called Nixle, isn't doing them any good.
Some of the folks who live near refinery row say the messages can be hard to understand, or they're too vague.
"It doesn't tell you anything about what's really going," resident Sam Garza said. "What happened in order for this to go out? Was anyone hurt? What chemicals were spilled or used?"
Here are a couple of examples of the text alerts. One says, "The flash fire has been completely extinguished. No injuries. Air monitoring to ensure no off-site impact;" and this one was sent out last Tuesday around midnight: "Units responding to a condition at Flint Hills West. Be prepared to execute your personal safety plan. Don't call 911 unless there's an emergency."
Fire Chief Robert Rocha is on the Local Emergency Planning Committee, or the LEPC, and he says the system is a work in progress.
"We're making some good progress in communication between industry and local residents," Rocha said. "Are we working on how to improve that? Yes, we are. We're working with industry to standardize some of the messaging."
Members of the LEPC asked residents a while back how they would like to receive this information. Most of them, about 58-percent, said they prefer to be contacted on their cell phones.
The LEPC has relied on community feedback throughout this whole process, and will continue to do so.
Rocha also said everyone who lives near refinery row needs to have an emergency plan in place. The LEPC has information on what that is and how to do it on their Web site. You will also find information on how to sign up to receive the alerts.
WEB: http://www.cclepc.org/6401.html and http://www.nixle.com/
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