On Wednesday, Nov. 13, Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS), in cooperation with local and State agencies, will test the outdoor warning sirens located within a 10-mile radius of the power plant. In conjunction with the siren test and in the same 10-mile radius, Maricopa County will test Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
The testing will activate the sirens and WEA twice, once at 12:00 p.m. and again at 12:30 p.m. to ensure operability of both systems. Volunteers from the West Valley Amateur Radio Club, the Tri-City Amateur Radio Club, Arizona Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and other unaffiliated ham operators will be stationed at each siren and immediately report siren activations and wireless alert notifications to emergency managers.
The siren system is part of the “Alert and Notification System” required by federal regulations. Testing of the siren system is required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The versatility of the WEA system allows notification to the entire county or specific areas within the county. On Nov. 13 the test area will be limited to the siren test area, however due to cellular coverage it is possible that cell phones, near but outside of the 10-mile radius of PVGS, may receive the wireless alerts.
The message to accompany the alert will state, “THIS IS A TEST OF MARICOPA COUNTY WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM. NO ACTION IS REQUIRED”.
In the unlikely event of an emergency at Palo Verde requiring public actions, one of three response agencies (Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office or the Arizona Department of Public Safety) will activate the alerting sirens to direct residents to turn on their radios and televisions. Likewise, wireless alerts (activated by Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management) will direct residents to do the same. An Emergency Alert System (EAS) message will then broadcast over radio & television and provide emergency instructions and information.
For more information, visit ready.maricopa.gov.