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March 17, 2011

KI Available through Oswego County Emergency Management and Health Departments

Fulton - Patricia Egan, Director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, reminds people who live within 10 miles of the nuclear power plants at Nine Mile Point that potassium iodide (KI) pills are still available from the county emergency management office in Fulton and county health department in Oswego.

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 in the event of a nuclear power plant emergency. The program began in 2002 with pills provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. New pills with expiration dates of 2012 and 2014 were provided in 2007.

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 radio and television stations during an emergency. She stressed that people should take KI only if directed to by the Chairman of County Legislature and Director of Public Health, and that Oswego County would issue that directive only during an emergency at one of the nuclear power plants in Oswego County in which protective actions of the public were necessary.

KI helps to protect the thyroid by blocking the intake of radioactive iodine, but it does not offer overall protection from radiation. KI should only be taken upon direction of emergency officials during a nuclear power plant emergency. Instructions would be given through Emergency Alert System messages on local radio, television, and cable outlets.

County officials also work with schools, child-care programs, and other institutions in the emergency planning zone to ensure their KI stockpiles are up-to-date.

People who live within the 10-mile emergency planning zone may pick up the pills at either the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, 200 N. Second St., Fulton (on Route 481 across from Mimi's Restaurant) or the Oswego County Health Department, 70 Bunner St., Oswego. 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 65-mg tablet will be issued for each person under 18 years weighing under 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.

Information about KI and the current Oswego County Public Emergency Response Information Calendar are available on the Emergency Management department page of the Oswego County Website at oswegocounty.com/emo.

To receive a brochure about KI or for information about any aspect of emergency planning, people may 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.

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