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Responders to Hold Emergency Exercise in Wickenburg

Responders to Hold Emergency Exercise

Wickenburg High School Could be Evacuee Center for Palo Verde Nuclear Plant


On Tuesday, March 13, emergency responders from state, local and volunteer agencies will use Wickenburg High School to exercise evacuee reception center operations to prepare for potential emergencies at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. This gives all responding agencies an opportunity to refine procedures, define necessary resources and train new employees and volunteers in emergency reception operations.


“Public health and safety are our major concerns,” said Board of Supervisor’s Chairman Max Wilson, District 4. In an emergency event, residents within a 10-mile radius could be asked to shelter-in-place or evacuate depending on a variety of factors. “A reception center is a critical component of a successful evacuation,” said Wilson.


The services provided at the Reception and Care Center Exercise are in response to a nuclear power plant incident.  However, monitoring, decontamination, registration and sheltering, if needed, can be replicated at any site for any situation requiring one or all of these services.  For any event the evacuated population is encouraged to go to a Reception Center following evacuation to receive critical services.


“Each agency has a particular role in managing responses to plant emergencies,” said Pete Weaver, Director of Maricopa County Emergency Management. “This reception center exercise is one part of a larger drill we do annually, and which is graded by federal authorities every two years,” said Weaver.


This exercise will include a number of state, local and tribal agencies who would be active in a real event, including:


·         Tohono O’odham Nation

·         Arizona Division of Emergency Management

·         Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency

·         Department of Economic Security

·         Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

·         Maricopa County Emergency Management

·         Maricopa County Animal Care and Control

·         Valley Metro

·         Town of Wickenburg

·        American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter


For more information on the emergency plan for Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, visit or contact the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management at 602-273-1411.




The Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management coordinates response and recovery activities through implementation of emergency response plans during and after emergencies. Implementation requires the support and assistance of many other county departments, local jurisdictions, the private sector and volunteer agencies.

Maricopa County has a population of approximately 4 million.


For more information email or call 602-273-1411.


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