​Radiological Emergency Preparedness

​​The Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management operates a Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program in accordance with state statute and federal regulations. The REP Program focuses on preparedness for a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) emergency, as well as preparedness for other radiation hazards. Other radiation hazards include; a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD also known as a dirty bomb), an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND, also known as a nuclear detonation) a Radiation Exposure Device (RED), and contamination incidents. 

​Radiological Incident - Nuclear Power Plant Emergency

Located approximately 45 miles northeast of the Palm Beach County International Airport, the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant has been safely providing electrical power since the early 1980’s.

In the unlikely event of an emergency at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant, some citizens of Martin and/or St. Lucie Counties may be evacuated into Palm Beach County for screening and sheltering if warranted.

Palm Beach County faces a potential threat to agriculture and surface-sourced drinking water supplies if contamination were to be detected.

Radiological Terrorism

A Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), also called a ‘dirty bomb’, is a weapon used against innocent citizens with little or no warning and designed to create maximum fear among those in the affected area and beyond.  The chance of death or great bodily harm to victims by radiation alone from an RDD is minimal compared to the deadly force from the detonation of the bomb itself.

A Nuclear Explosion is caused by a nuclear weapon.  Nuclear explosions cause significant damage and casualties from blast, heat, and radiation over wide areas.  Dangerous fallout is harmful dust, ash, and debris from a nuclear explosion.  This fallout is most dangerous in the first few hours after the detonation when radiation levels are at their highest.  Radiation levels decrease over time. 

​Palm Beach County emergency response agencies are involved with preventative detection measures that are designed to stop radiological terrorism before injury and property damage occurs. 

​Hazardous Materials Incident - Toxic Chemical Release

Palm Beach County is home to some businesses that use potentially dangerous chemicals.  If released, these chemicals could pose a direct threat to the general public in the area of the affected business.  The immediate threat would be in the form of a poisonous gas which could cause death or great bodily harm to people and animals.

Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management analyzes the facilities in Palm Beach County that store and use potentially dangerous chemicals.

If a Hazardous Materials Incident happens in your area, you will be notified to take immediate actions to protect yourself and those around you.

Protective Actions

In an emergency, local authorities will issue the appropriate action(s) needed to protect life and safety.

These actions typically include:

                Sheltering in Place: Go inside, Stay Inside, Stay Tuned​

  Evacuate: Leave Immediately​

It is important that you follow the directions of law enforcement, fire-rescue personnel, and public officials.​