HomepageContact Us (Popup Window)
Site Map | Search | Phone Directory | Departments | Services
About Us
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
Hazard Mitigation
Community Wildfire Protection Plan
Hazardous Materials LEPC
Emergency Management Department of Maricopa County
Emergency Management Home Page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

How would I know if there was an emergency at Palo Verde?
In the event of an emergency at Palo Verde, plant operators would immediately notify State and Maricopa County emergency officials. These organizations are prepared to respond in accordance with the Palo Verde Offsite Response Plan. If it is necessary to alert the public, the sirens will be sounded.

What do I do if I hear the sirens?
If an incident occurs at Palo Verde involving the actual or potential release of radiation into the atmosphere, the Outdoor Warning Siren System within the 10-mile area around the plant will sound for approximately three minutes with a steady, high pitched sound. If you hear the sirens, go indoors immediately and turn on your radio to KTAR (620 AM or 92.3FM), KMVP (98.7 FM), or other local radio or television stations to hear instructions from government officials. If you hear a siren and do not hear an Emergency Alert System (EAS) message within 10 minutes, call (602) 371-7171. A crew will be sent to repair the siren.

From time to time you may hear a siren for five to 15 seconds. These are called "chirp" and "growl" tests respectively and are part of the siren maintenance program. These tests are performed only during the day and have a low-pitched sound. If you hear one of these tests, there is no need to call the plant.

The Federal government requires a full activation of the system annually for testing. Residents within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone are notified in advance of this test date. They are also notified of any other maintenance when sirens may be sounded for extended periods of time.

Can a nuclear plant explode like a nuclear bomb?
No. The fuel used in a nuclear plant has very low levels of the type of material that could cause a nuclear explosion. Even so, precautions need to be taken to ensure that radioactive materials do not reach the environment.

I need assistance during an evacuation; what do I do?
If you need assistance during an evacuation, please fill out the Assistance Survey (Solicitude de Asistencia) provided by PVNGS and return it so we can make arrangements to help before an evacuation is necessary. If you have not received a card, and require assistance, please call MCDEM at (602) 273-1411.

What happens to my pets during an evacuation?
Bring your pets with you when you leave the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and the Arizona Humane Society will have temporary shelter available for your use while you are making alternate arrangements. They will be co-located with the Reception and Care Center.

My child goes to school near Palo Verde, where can I pick them up in an emergency?
When school is in session all the children attending schools within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone will be transported to the designated Reunification Center or Reception and Care Center and can be picked up there. Each school has sufficient buses available to evacuate all the children. It is important that you listen to the school telephone messaging and EAS message to see which location has been opened.

For information on how Palo Verde works, see this PDF

For information on American Nuclear Insurance, see this PDF


Search this Supervisors Site Search Emergency Management

  District Cities Home

Contact Us Contact Us  

SiteMap Sitemap

Maricopa County presents this information as a service to the public. It has made every effort to ensure that the information contained here is accurate. It makes no warranties or guarantees, nor may anyone assume any warranties or guarantees regarding the accuracy or reliability of its content or of other information to which there is a link. Assessing accuracy and reliability of information is the sole responsibility of the user. Maricopa County shall not be liable for errors contained here or for any damages in connection with the use of the information contained here. Maricopa County does not endorse the content found on non-Maricopa County websites accessed via hyperlink. Further, the e-mail address and any other information found here shall not be used for unsolicited advertising, marketing, or other commercial purposes.
  Maricopa Home      Site Map      Legal Information      Privacy/Security Policies
Maricopa County Home Page
Maricopa County || 301 W. Jefferson St. || Phoenix, AZ 85003