4/3/2012
COOK PLANT SATURDAY SIREN TEST TO RUN THREE MINUTES ON APRIL 7

BRIDGMAN, Mich., April 2, 2012 – On Saturday, April 7, the Cook Nuclear Plant will perform an extended sounding of its early warning siren system as a part of its required annual testing. The regularly-scheduled first Saturday of the month siren test typically lasts for about one minute, but each April, the sirens sound for a full three minutes.

            “People are used to hearing the sirens for about one minute on the first Saturday of the month at about 1:00 p.m. and we are reminding people that this test in April is longer and we don’t want residents to be unnecessarily concerned,” said Christine Hutchinson, Manager – Emergency Preparedness and Security. “We typically tell people they’ll know it’s a test rather than a real emergency if the sirens sound for a minute or less. However, we will test the sirens for a full three minutes each April to confirm that everything works correctly.”

Siren and other basic emergency information can also be found in the emergency information calendars that are produced by the Cook Plant and mailed annually to residents and businesses in Berrien County.

“The calendars are more than a popular display of local scenery,” Hutchinson added. “More importantly, they are a ready resource for residents, tourists and visitors on what to do when they hear the sirens. This April test is a good reminder to take time to review that information and to share it with folks who may not be familiar with these regular tests.”

            The electronic sirens are omni-directional, meaning they can be heard in all directions at once, and are an important part of the county’s alert and notification system within the 10-mile radius Emergency Planning Zone of the plant in Bridgman.

            “Having such a sophisticated alert system that could be used for a weather-related or other emergency is a real benefit to Berrien County,” said Captain Corey Burks, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Management Coordinator. “We do occasionally get some calls into our county 911 system during Cook’s regular siren tests, so it’s important that people understand this longer test in April is still simply a test and they don’t become alarmed or unnecessarily contact or distract our regular emergency responders.”

            In addition to contacting local media, AEP has purchased advertising in local newspapers from April 3 through April 7 to alert residents of the April 7 extended test.

            The extended test is an annual event in April, but residents should understand that typical tests do last less than one minute and the regular monthly tests happen on the first Saturday of each month at approximately 1:00 p.m. In the event of a real emergency, the sirens would sound for three to five minutes and residents should tune to local radio or television stations for more information.

            If you have questions or would like additional emergency information calendars, visit www.cookinfo.com, call 800-548-2555, or email cookinfo@aep.com. Also, for your protection, report non-working sirens right away. If you note a problem with a siren near your home, call 269-983-7141. The Berrien County Emergency Management Office maintains the sirens.

 

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