May 18, 2001
Emergency sirens in portions of Luzerne and Columbia counties in north central Pennsylvania will sound shortly before noon on Tuesday (5/22) as part of an annual readiness test.
Columbia County emergency management officials will activate the 112 sirens, which are located within a 10-mile radius of PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant. The sirens will sound in a steady tone for three to five minutes.
"PPL makes the sirens available to both counties to notify the public in an emergency, whether or not it involves the Susquehanna plant," said Herbert D. Woodeshick, special assistant to the president for Susquehanna.
When the sirens sound in a continuous tone for three to five minutes, area residents listen for instructions and information on an Emergency Alert System radio or television station. Twenty-five radio stations and two television stations make up the Emergency Alert System network in the area around the Susquehanna plant.
Area residents who are tuned to one of those stations at 11:55 a.m. Tuesday will hear a test message.
The counties and PPL participate in this full-scale test once a year to make sure the sirens are working properly. Each siren will be checked during the test. Any problems will be corrected by PPL, Woodeshick said.
Routine siren testing is required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition to the annual full-scale test, there are quick sound checks called "growl tests" four times a year and silent tests every two weeks to make sure sirens are receiving the signal to sound.
Woodeshick noted that PPL has an extensive maintenance program to ensure that the sirens will sound when needed for any type of emergency. In the event a siren sounds when there is no Emergency Alert System message on radio or television, residents are asked to call PPL at 1-800-DIALPPL to report the malfunction.
The Susquehanna plant, located in Luzerne County about five miles north of Berwick, is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna, LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc.
SOURCE: PPL Corporation
Contact: Herb Woodeshick of PPL, 570-759-2285, or fax, 610-774-5281