Radiation Emergencies

There are different types of radiation emergencies that vary in how much damage they cause and harm they pose to the public. Some examples of radiation emergencies include: a nuclear detonation (explosion), an accident at a nuclear power plant, a transportation accident involving a shipment of radioactive materials, or an occupational exposure like in a healthcare or research setting. While the extent of the damage will vary, the steps to protect yourself from radiation are the same. You can keep your family safe by knowing what to do and being prepared if an incident occurs. Follow these simple steps:

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The best way to stay safe in any radiation emergency is to get inside, stay inside and stay tuned. Putting material between you and the radiation provides protection while you tune in for instructions from responders.

Brunswick Nuclear Plant is dedicated to the safe, reliable and efficient production of electricity. Duke Energy would immediately notify federal, state and local authorities of a problem at the plant. These officials would then notify you if any action were necessary.  Visit the Duke Energy Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant page for more information on Emergency Preparedness Instructions, Potassium Iodide, taking care of pets, emergency classifications, and other information to help you plan. 

Get reminders on siren tests and other information texted to you by texting the word Brunswick to 71729. 
This tool WILL NOT alert subscribers to any emergencies.

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Emergency Preparedness Instructions (English)
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Siren Tests (English)
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Emergency Preparedness Instructions (Español)
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Emergency Contacts (Español)
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Siren Tests (Español)

Sirens and Emergency Broadcasts

Sirens are the primary outdoor warning system for alerting the public of an emergency. In the unlikely event of an emergency to the nuclear station, Duke Energy would immediately notify federal, state and local authorities. These authorities could activate pole-mounted sirens located throughout the station's 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ).

If you hear a loud, steady sound coming from one of the sirens around the nuclear station, tune to a local radio or TV station. These stations will carry an emergency alert information (EAS) message from local officials to give you information and instructions on what to do.

Remember, hearing a siren does not mean you should evacuate. It simply means to tune to a local radio or television station for information. If sirens are sounding and you do not see or hear a message on radio or television, contact your county's emergency management office.

Please note: Regularly scheduled siren testing takes place on Wednesdays. Additional testing may occur at other times as part of ongoing maintenance.

To alert people indoors, radio and television stations will carry emergency information messages from local officials. Follow their instructions. Stay tuned. Remember, outdoor sirens will not necessarily be heard inside homes or businesses.

  • These radio stations will participate in EAS announcements in the event of an emergency. If you hear several three-minute long siren blasts, tune to one of the following stations for information:
    • 97.3 WMNX
    • 98.7 WRMR
    • NOAA Weather Radio – All Hazards
    • Other radio and television stations also may broadcast information and instructions in an emergency.
    • Learn more about Emergency Alerts here

In an emergency, fire, police and rescue units may also patrol the affected area and sound their sirens, if necessary. Boaters also would be alerted via sirens, loudspeakers, etc.

  • If an evacuation of coastal waterways is ordered, the U.S. Coast Guard would broadcast information and instructions on the following frequencies: Band: VHF-FM | Channel: 16 | Frequency: 156.8 MHz and Band: HF | Frequency: 2182.0 kHz

Upon hearing a siren or emergency message, we also encourage people living in the 10-mile emergency planning zones to check with their neighbors to ensure they are aware of the situations – especially neighbors who may have special needs.

Emergency Planning Zones

It's important to know which Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) you are in, because this will help you understand where to go in the event of an emergency. Check the map for the nuclear plant in your area and locate the zones where you live, work and/or go to school. In the event of an emergency, officials will announce specific instructions for zones. If there was an emergency at the nuclear station, it is unlikely everyone within the 10-mile EPZ would be affected. The areas affected would depend on weather conditions and the nature of the emergency.

Evacuations Routes and Reception Centers/Shelters

Under certain circumstances, people in specific zones might be asked by emergency management officials to evacuate. If you need help during an evacuation, contact your county emergency office. It is important that you go to a designated center/shelter, even if you do not plan to stay there. If you are not instructed to evacuation, stay off the roads to ensure emergency personnel can readily respond.

More information on Radiation Emergencies at Ready.gov in: