PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (Oct. 2, 2009) The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, will conduct a full-cycle test of the alert and notification sirens throughout southern Calvert and St. Marys counties on Monday, October 5, at 12 p.m. The siren test will consist of a three-minute activation.
The testing is part of an emergency evacuation plan in case of a nuclear disaster or other emergency at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby. The testing is conducted to enhance siren operation and increase public awareness of the alert and notification siren system, say Calvert County officials.
According to the St. Mary's County government web site, if an emergency were to occur at a nuclear facility, it would be classified on one of four levels. This four-level emergency classification system has been established by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Unusual Event - The least serious of the four levels. Because of strict federal laws, any event out of the ordinary is reported to federal, state, and local authorities. The event poses no danger to the public or to the plant employees. State and county emergency officials are notified in case the situation worsens. No response by county or state agencies or the public is necessary.
Alert - This level of emergency would be declared if an actual or possible reduction of plant safety has occurred. State and county emergency officials would be notified and kept up to date. State emergency agencies would recommend public action. The purpose of the Alert classification is to ensure that additional emergency response personnel are ready to respond if necessary.
Site Emergency - At this level, significant problems at the plant have worsened to the point that a radioactive release to the air or water is possible. During a Site Emergency, state and county Emergency Operations Centers would be staffed. Precautionary measures such as the closing of parks and schools might be required. The sirens would likely be sounded, alerting you to listen to the radio for instructions and further important information.
General Emergency - The most serious of the four levels. This classification means numerous safety systems have failed. These conditions would likely lead to the release or threat of release of radiation. State and county emergency officials would direct protective actions for residents living near the plant. People in the affected areas would be instructed to take shelter indoors or to evacuate.
If the sirens sound at any other time, residents should tune to one of the local radio stations listed below for information and instructions.
Emergency Alert System (EAS) stations include:
WPTX 920 AM Lexington Park
WKIK 102.9 FM Mechanicsville
WAAI 100.9 FM Cambridge
WMDM 97.7 FM Lexington Park
WCEM 1240 AM Cambridge
WCMD 1560 AM La Plata
WCEM 106.3 FM Cambridge
WXTR 104.1 FM La Plata
WCEI 1460 AM Easton
WSMD 98.3 FM Mechanicsville
WCEI 96.7 FM Easton
For more information on a local nuclear emergency at Calvert Cliffs, visit http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/Emergencycomm/calvertcliffs.asp .