~~BRIDGMAN, Mich., March 29, 2017 – Even though it falls on April Fools’ Day, this year’s extended testing of the Indiana Michigan Power, Cook Nuclear Plant early warning siren system is no joke. 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.
“We wouldn’t joke about emergency preparedness,” said Kevin Simpson of Cook Emergency Preparedness department. “People are used to hearing the sirens for only about one minute on the first Saturday of the month. However, each April, we test the sirens for a full three minutes to confirm they will work for a longer period. We try to spread the word so no one gets unnecessarily concerned, particularly this year since it falls on April first.”
The omni-directional electronic sirens are an important part of Berrien County’s alert and notification system within the 10-mile radius Emergency Planning Zone of the plant in Bridgman. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Emergency 911 System does occasionally get calls during Cook’s regular siren tests. Additional notification of the longer April test is being made to minimize those distractions.
Siren and other basic emergency information can be found in the emergency information calendars that are produced by the Cook Plant and mailed annually to residents and businesses in Berrien County. “People like and use our calendar because of the great photos of local scenery, but the real purpose is to keep important emergency information available,” said Cook Communications Manager Bill Schalk. “The April test is always 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 regular monthly tests last about one minute. 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, email email@example.com or visit our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/CookNuclear. Also, for your protection, report non-working sirens right away. If you note a problem with a siren near your home, call the Berrien County Emergency Management Office at 269-983-7111 x4915.
Cook Nuclear Plant is owned and operated by Indiana Michigan Power, headquartered in Fort Wayne. At full capacity, the 1,030-net MW Unit 1 and 1,077-net MW Unit 2 combined produce enough electricity for more than one and one half million average homes. Indiana Michigan Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states.