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Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
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Emergency Management Department of Maricopa County
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Protective Actions
If there is an incident at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, instructions on what actions to take will be broadcast by through the Emergency Alert System. If you hear the warning sirens, go indoors immediately. Turn on your radio or television and listen for these instructions. Officials may advise people living or working in the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone to take shelter or evacuate the area.

If you are asked to SHELTER, stay inside your home, car or business to protect yourself from outside air and take the following steps:

  • Stay calm
  • If you are outside, go inside a building and close all doors and windows to protect yourself from outside air.
  • Lower the thermostats on all oil or gas-burning heaters to minimize the intake of outside air.
  • Keep pets inside.
  • If you must go outside, protect yourself by putting a damp cloth or towel over your nose and mouth. Fold the cloth several times.
  • Do not use the phone unless you have a personal emergency. Phone lines must be kept open for emergency calls.
  • Listen to your radio or television for instructions.

If taking shelter will not provide adequate protection, officials may ask people living or working within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone to leave the area. The entire Emergency Planning Zone may not be evacuated so it is important that residents know which sector and mile ring they live in. Officials will refer to sector locations when giving evacuation instructions. The Sheriff's Office will secure the area to protect your property and roadblocks will keep people out of the evacuated area.

All schools in session within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone will be notified individually by the Maricopa County Emergency Operations Center. A tone alert radio system has been installed in each school in the Plume Exposure Pathway Emergency Planning Zone. If evacuation is ordered while school is in session, your children will be taken to a Reunification Center or Reception and Care Center. Close coordination between school officials and the Maricopa County Emergency Operations Center will determine the quickest means for evacuating the children. Each school has its own transportation on the premises to evacuate the students. If Potassium Iodide (KI) is recommended, it will be dispensed according to the school's procedures. The Emergency Alert System message or school messaging system will provide instructions on where to meet your children. There are four schools affected by the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone:

  • Arlington Elementary School
  • Palo Verde Elementary School
  • Ruth Fisher Elementary School
  • Tonopah Valley High School

If you need to leave your home, follow these steps:

  • Get your family together.
  • Gather what your family will need for a few days, including:
    – Clothing
    – Medical Supplies: first aid kit, medicines and prescriptions
    – Personal Items: soap, towels, shaving articles, toothpaste, tooth brushes, sanitary supplies
    – Important Papers: auto registration, credit cards, check book, cash, your PVNGS calendar
    – Children and Infant Supplies: disposable diapers, powder, bottles, formula, favorite toys
    – Cell Phone and charger
    – One gallon or more of drinking water per person
    – Other Supplies: flashlight, portable radio with batteries, tools for car repairs.
  • Turn off lights and household appliances. Leave your refrigerator and freezer on.
  • Bring your pets with you. The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Department and the Arizona Humane Society will be at the RCC to help pet owners.
  • Use only one vehicle for your family. Be sure that it is in good running condition and has gas. If you have room, see if a neighbor needs a ride.
  • Lock your house.
  • Take your time. Listen to your car radio for additional instructions. Drive safely and follow the evacuation routes on the map.
  • Report to the Reception and Care Center for registration and monitoring even if you do not plan to remain at the RCC.

Print Evacuation Route Map (PDF Format - set printer to landscape to print map)

Access and Functional Needs Community

Access and Functional Needs could include individuals with sight, hearing, or walking impairment, specialized medical equipment or transportation, or those who have no other means of transportation.  If you have specific needs, please fill out the Assistance Survey (Solicitude de Asistencia) provided by PVNGS and return it so we can make arrangements to help. If you know someone who might need assistance filling out the form, please offer to help them. If you have not received a card, and require assistance, please call MCDEM at (602) 273-1411.

Even if you mailed in a form last year, please do so again to keep our records up-to-date. Every effort will be made to support requested assistance; however, this should not replace individual preparedness and planning.

Other Protective Measures
Should radioactive iodine be released into the air during a serious emergency, Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets will be made available at the Reception and Care Center for those individuals who may have been exposed and would benefit from a dose of Potassium Iodide. While evacuation is the preferred method to avoid exposure to this element, taking KI can protect the thyroid, the only organ that absorbs radioactive iodine. KI tablets will saturate the thyroid with normal iodine, preventing the absorption of radioactive iodine gas. KI tablets have a high percentage of effectiveness for several hours after an individual is exposed. The use of KI does not provide protection against other radioactive materials or external radiation.
View Potassium Iodide Information Sheet (PDF Format)



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