TEMA realigns boundaries to improve response
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency will issue revised emergency sectors for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation on Wednesday. These sectors, labeled A-Y, determine which areas should take action if an event occurs at one of DOE’s sites locally. The new sector boundaries have improved correlation with roads, waterways, and recognizable landmarks.
“Knowing their emergency sectors will help residents better understand what to do when directed to take action by state or local emergency officials. Instructions pertaining to their safety will be issued by sector,” said Jim Bassham, TEMA director. “Periodic updates to emergency plans, like these changes, are part of TEMA’s normal review process.”
DOE and TEMA have been partners in a public information campaign aimed at the more than 50,000 people that live or work within a five-mile radius of Oak Ridge’s three main sites: the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and East Tennessee Technology Park. An updated version of a joint publication, “What to do if an emergency occurs on the Oak Ridge Reservation,” will be available on March 12. The booklet will be on DOE’s website for area residents to read and reference at http://science.energy.gov/isc/emergency-information/.
“Safe operations are a top priority for all of the managers and employees throughout the reservation,” said Larry Kelly, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Reservation. “However, in the rare event of an emergency, TEMA wants to make sure the public knows exactly who is impacted, where to go, and what to do.”
While the risk of a major emergency is very low, residents and employees near the reservation need to know what to do if an emergency requires protective actions. DOE and TEMA’s publication contains information about what to do if the warning sirens sound, how to shelter-in-place, locations of evacuation shelters, and important descriptions of Oak Ridge’s sites. Finally, the booklet provides breakout maps that give directions for evacuation routes depending on where people live and work.