Fulton — A federally-evaluated exercise of Oswego CountyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program Ã¢â‚¬Å“was very successful,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Rebecca Thomson of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IIÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program. Thomson announced the preliminary findings of the evaluation during a public meeting Sept. 25 at the Oswego County Joint Information Center.
A team of 23 observers evaluated Oswego CountyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and New York StateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s operations during a Sept. 22 exercise of a simulated emergency at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station Unit 1, a division of Constellation Energy. The exercise involved hundreds of participants from the county and state governments, Constellation, and other partners.
The team evaluated county and state emergency operations that took place at the County and State Emergency Operations Centers; the Joint Information Center; WSYR-AM, the countyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s primary Emergency Alert System station; and the licenseeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Emergency Off-site Facility. They also evaluated field monitoring teams, traffic and access control points, reverse notification, and RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services).
Constellation EnergyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s participation was evaluated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There was a lot of good participation at all levels of government,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Thomson. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The participants were pro-active and knowledgeable. Public affairs and information went very well.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The simulation of an Emergency Alert System message through WSYR-AM was well done, Thomson said, and the station took the opportunity to train additional staff.
She also noted the Oswego County Spokesperson for this exercise, Diane Oldenburg, Ã¢â‚¬Å“responded well to mock media questions and was particularly good.Ã¢â‚¬Â Oldenburg is a public health educator with the Oswego County Health Department.
Patricia Egan, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, thanked Thomson for her remarks as well as Constellation Energy and New York State for working with the county. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This was a good exercise,Ã¢â‚¬Â she noted.
The exercise is one element of the emergency preparedness program established to help assure the safety of the residents living in the vicinity of the Nine Mile Point nuclear power plants. If an emergency situation required residents of a 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone to take action, sirens and tone-alert weather radios would sound to alert residents to turn on their radios and televisions and tune into an Emergency Alert System station. EAS stations are listed in the Public Emergency Response Information calendar mailed to residents of the Emergency Planning Zone in December; on posters placed in public locations; and in the yellow pages of local telephone books.
For more information on radiological emergency planning in Oswego County or to receive an emergency response calendar, people may visit the county website at www.oswegocounty.com/emo or call call 1-800-962-2792 or 591-9150.