We are currently assisting a company in preparing for certain risks that could impact its employees and/or their ability to work from certain strategic geographic locations. One of their facilities lies in the Phoenix, AZ area. Their facility lies within the 50 mile “ingestion pathway” of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station. Although their facility is outside the 10 mile “plume exposure pathway”, which could be evacuated during a “General Emergency”, some of their employees may live within 10 miles and, they are aware, that panic and confusion could result in many more employees not being available to work during a significant Palo Verde emergency.
This webpage from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) provides a good explanation of the two pathway zones and nuclear power plant emergency classifications.
During the course of our engagement we reached out to the Arizona Division of Emergency Management for a copy of the information packets they send to residents within 10 miles of Palo Verde. Each year, the ADEM, sends out Palo Verde emergency information in the form of a new calendar with instructions and information for residents to follow in the case of emergency.
- Here is a link to the calendar that ADEM sends to residents within 10 miles of Palo Verde.
- Here is a link to a “media kit” of information that ADEM maintains online.
Without getting into the discussion of “real” risks versus “perceived risks”, I applaud ADEM for compiling this information and making it available to the public. I think the calendar is well done and is a good example of keeping the plan short, concise and useable at time of need. Putting the information in a calendar format with appealing and creative content, helps increase the probability that the calendar is actually posted in an accessible and remembered location.
I have not looked at the information provided for residents of other nuclear power stations in the United States, but am sure that the respected offices of emergency management do an equally impressive job at educating the public of the dangers and plans in place to respond to an emergency.
If you are an emergency planning professional, or, if you happen to live near a nuclear power plant (either in the plume exposure or ingestion pathways), I encourage you to take a look at the information provided through the links in this blog. I think business continuity planners could benefit from trying to keep their plans simple and creative as shown in the calendar example.
Thanks goes out to the folks at the Arizona Division of Emergency Management who so willingly worked with us on behalf of our client. Their responsiveness in providing us the information through links and in hard copy is much appreciated.