March 30, 2007
KI Available through Oswego County Emergency Management and Health Departments
Oswego County has received new supplies of potassium iodide (KI) pills for distribution to people who live within 10 miles of the nuclear power plants at Nine Mile Point.
The 130mg and 65mg KI tablets replace those distributed by the county in 2002 and 2004. Those pills expire in 2007. The new pills are currently available at the County Emergency Management Office, 200 N. Second St., Fulton, and the County Health Department, 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Special distribution programs will be also held during evening hours in the coming weeks.
Patricia Egan, Director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, encouraged people to replace their expiring KI pills as soon as it's practical for them. The 130mg tablets for adults that were previously distributed will expire March 31; the 65mg tablets for children expired Jan. 31 of this year. Egan said that, if the expiring pills have been kept in a cool, dry place since residents received them, they should be acceptable to use during an emergency “for the time being.”
This free, public distribution program is part of a comprehensive KI policy that includes the distribution and stockpiling of KI so that it will be available during a nuclear power plant emergency. The county received the pills March 23 from the New York State Emergency Management Office, which received them from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Egan emphasized that KI offers limited protection, and that evacuation of people would be the primary protective action during an emergency at one of the nuclear power plants. People should follow the instructions of county officials announced on Emergency Alert System stations during an emergency.
“KI helps to protect the thyroid by blocking the intake of radioactive iodine, but it does not offer overall protection from radiation,” she said. “KI should only be taken upon direction of emergency officials during a nuclear power plant emergency.”
Instructions to take KI, and other protective actions, would be given through Emergency Alert System messages on local radio, television, and cable outlets.
The county will hold distribution programs in Oswego and Mexico in the coming weeks so that residents of the Emergency Planning Zone can pick up KI tablets for their families. In the meantime, KI pills are available at the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, 200 N. Second St., Fulton, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at the Oswego County Health Department, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
One pill will be provided for each member of a household within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone. One 130mg tablet will be issued for each adult, and one 65mg tablet will be issued for each person under 18 years weighing less than 150 pounds.
When they receive their pills, residents will be given information on KI that explains how they should store the pills and how they would be informed to take them in an emergency.
Egan said that county officials will also work with schools, child-care programs, and other institutions in the Emergency Planning Zone to replace their KI stockpiles.
Information about KI is available on the Emergency Management Office page of the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/emo. To receive a brochure about KI or for information about any aspect of emergency planning call the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at 591-9150 or 1-800-962-2792, or the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547.
Questions about the Oswego County Public Information Office?