Online Evacuation Map

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What To Do If You Hear The Sirens

If you hear the sirens, go indoors. Do not call 911. Tune to a local radio or television station. Emergency broadcast messages telling you what to do would be repeated often.

Early warning of a weather emergency, nuclear power plant accident or other emergency requiring you to act would be made by sounding the sirens. These are located in a 10-mile area around the Palisades plant, as required by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA. The sirens can be sounded by the Covert Township Fire Department, the South Haven Police Department or the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.

Public Warning (Steady Siren)

A steady siren sound lasting from three to five minutes is a warning of a weather emergency, nuclear power plant accident, chemical spill, or other emergency.

The Public Warning System sirens do not have public address capability. If the sirens sound, tune to one of the local radio or television stations listed on the Alert and Notification page.

The sirens are tested at noon on the second Saturday of every month. If the siren closest to you does not work during the monthly test, or if you hear something unusual, please call your local police or sheriff’s office.

If the sirens should sound accidentally, the local radio stations would be able to broadcast that.

What Kind Of Information You Would Receive

In case of an accident at the Palisades plant, you would be advised if you needed to take shelter or evacuate. Official instructions and information would be given through the Emergency Alert System on the radio and on television (Click here for specific stations).

What To Do If You Are Told To Stay Indoors (Shelter in Place)

Keep calm. Panic is your greatest enemy in any emergency.

Do not evacuate unless an order is given. Keep the following items together in a safe, easy-to-get-to place: your important papers, checkbook, credit cards, bank account information, emergency cash, cell phone/charger, extra keys, first aid kit, prescription medicines, emergency pet kit, portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries.

Stay indoors (shelter in place).

Close all windows and doors. Turn off fans and air conditioners. Bring your pets inside.

Listen to local Emergency Alert System radio stations for instructions. If your building has a basement, take a radio and go there.

If you must go outside to warn a friend or family member, limit your time outdoors. You might be advised to cover your mouth and nose with a cloth.

Use the telephone only if absolutely necessary. 

What To Do If You Are Told To Evacuate

1. Stay calm. Listen for information over local Emergency Alert System radio stations. If you are in the evacuation area, listen for instructions on the route to take. Do not call 911.

2. Gather up:

  • A change of clothing
  • Two blankets or a sleeping bag for each person
  • Toilet articles (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste)
  • Medical supplies (first-aid kit, medicine, prescriptions)
  • Special baby formulas or food
  • Pet supplies 

3. Have a plan for your pets. Keep in mind that currently, reception centers will only accept pets if they are service animals. Make arrangements to stay with relatives, friends, or a pet-friendly hotel outside of the area. Remember to bring your emergency pet kit that includes food, water, dishes, medicines, leashes, tags, and vet records.

4. Turn off small appliances and faucets. Turn down the furnace, if it is on, and turn off the furnace fan. Be sure all air conditioners and fans are turned off. Lock all windows and doors.

5. Get into your vehicle and go directly to a reception center and register. Reception Center locations would be announced over the Emergency Alert System radio stations. Follow the evacuation routes to the nearest Reception Center and register so family and friends will know where you are. After you have registered you may go to stay with friends or family who live outside of the affected area.

Exit routes would be announced over EAS radio stations. Police would help direct traffic during an evacuation. If you have room in your car, take neighbors or friends who need a ride.

There would be no need to rush. You would be more likely to get hurt by rushing than by exposure to radiation. Remember: If there was an emergency at Palisades, you would be given plenty of time to take needed action.

During your absence, police would make sure your property was protected. Only authorized people would be allowed in the evacuated area.

Where To Go

If an evacuation is ordered, you should follow routes on the evacuation map which would be announced on the radio. The actions you should take would depend on the nature of the emergency and the weather. You should drive to your Reception Center. Possible Reception Centers include:

Van Buren County
Gobles High School
409 N State St.
Gobles, MI 49055

Paw Paw High School
30609 Red Arrow Hwy
Paw Paw MI 49079

Berrien County
Berrien Springs High School
201 Sylvester Ave
Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Berrien Springs Middle School
502 Middle School Drive
Berrien Springs MI 49103

Allegan County
Fennville High School
4 S. Memorial Dr.
Fennville, MI 49408

Otsego High School
550 Washington St
Otsego, MI 49078

If You Need A Ride

You may be able to get a ride from a neighbor. If this is not possible, stay inside your home. Make sure that all doors, windows, and air vents are closed. Listen to local emergency broadcast radio and TV stations. A telephone number would be announced over Emergency Alert System radio stations for you to call if you need a ride. Click here for stations.

Individuals with functional needs who would need a ride in an evacuation should fill out the form found here ​and mail it to the address shown on the form. In an emergency, those who have mailed in a form would be picked up at their homes by local emergency workers. This form should be updated every year.

Notifying Boaters, Campers, And Vacationers

Boaters and fishermen should tune to marine radio channel 16 (156.8 megahertz). Boaters would also be warned by local radio stations. Coastal areas would be patrolled. Visitors at Van Buren State Park would be alerted by voice messages through the public address system or through local radio stations. Click here for stations.


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