Browns Ferry Emergency Preparedness

If you hear the sirens

Check it out—it could be only a test. Siren tests last for approximately three minutes and occur in your area on the second Monday of each month at 9:15 a.m. CT. The sirens may not be tested if there is severe weather in your area.

Tune to one of your local radio or television stations and listen for instructions. These local radio and television stations will carry the emergency broadcasts. Initially, information also will be broadcast over the NOAA weather radio system (162.400 and 162.475 MHz). Remember, if you are not sure about the sirens, assume the warning is real.

  • WZYP-FM (104.3)
  • WDRM-FM (102.1)
  • WWTM-AM (1400)
  • WRJL-FM (99.9)
  • WALW-FM (97.9)

Check on your neighbors.

If the warning involves an incident at Browns Ferry, you might be advised by radio, television or emergency responders’ loudspeakers to go indoors and close all windows, doors and other sources of outside air.

Do not use the phone unless absolutely necessary. The phone lines need to be open for emergency workers.

Do not call 911 for information if you hear the sirens.

Familiarize yourself with the Prompt Notification SystemClick here to learn more.

If told to “go inside—stay inside”

  • Go indoors and stay until further notice.
  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Do not drive unless it is an emergency.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio or television stations listed above.
  • A "Restricted Access" protective action decision (PAD) may be issued to the public. If issued, all persons are restricted from entering any area in Alabama within the two-mile emergency planning zone (EPZ) of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant except for residents of the two-mile EPZ, authorized radiation emergency workers, or Browns Ferry nuclear plant personnel. 

If you're advised to take shelter indoors

  • Go indoors and stay there.
  • Close all doors and windows.
  • Shut off all systems that draw outside air into the house such as furnaces, air conditioners, fireplace vents and dampers.
  • Stay tuned to your local EAS radio or television station. These are the best sources for information and instruction.
  • Prepare to evacuate.
  • If you must go outside, protect your breathing. Place a damp cloth or towel over your nose and mouth.
  • If you are told that it is safe to go outside, try to check on your neighbors. They may not have heard the announcements.
  • Do not use the phone unless you have a special emergency and need help. Leave the lines open for official business.

If you are advised to monitor and prepare

This is a precautionary action to advise the public within the Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) that a serious emergency at the nuclear plant exists and you should monitor the situation and prepare for the possibility of evacuation, shelter in place or other protective actions.

If you're told to leave (evacuate)

  • Stay calm and do not rush. Evacuation can work properly and reduce your risk if you act safely and calmly.
  • Take a few items with you. Gather personal items you or your family might need listed on this page.
  • Turn off lights, appliances and water.
  • As you leave, lock your house and tie a white cloth or white towel on your front door to let emergency workers know everyone has left the area.
  • Please leave your pets at home (preferably indoors) with plenty of food and water. If you must bring your pet to a reception center, it must be in a pet carrier or other sturdy container. Pets will not be allowed in the public shelters.
  • Use your own transportation or, if possible, ride with a neighbor. Keep car windows and air vents closed and listen to a local radio station.
  • Use the map below to find the sector in which you live and the evacuation route you should follow.
  • Follow the evacuation routes shown on the map. Go to the nearest reception center and register as an evacuee. If you become separated from your family, ask the locating service at the reception center to help you find your relatives.
  • If you have unique needs or experience problems, call 211 for assistance.
  • Dial 711 for TTY/Relay Service.
  • Do not self-evacuate if you do not live or work in the designated evacuation sector(s).
  • Go to the nearest reception center in your county and register as an evacuee.

If an evacuation is underway, members of the public who are NOT directed to evacuate should remain off the roadways to allow the evacuation to proceed.

A "Restricted Access" protective action decision may be issued to the public.  If issued, all persons are restricted from entering any area in Alabama within the two-mile emergency planning zone (EPZ) of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant except for residents of the two-mile EPZ, authorized radiation emergency workers or Browns Ferry nuclear plant personnel.


Children in schools within the 10-mile  Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) will be given top priority during an emergency. Your local school system has an evacuation plan which will be implemented prior to the evacuation of the general public. These plans detail how the students will be transported with supervision to designated locations outside the EPZ. Parents should review their school’s plan to get specific details on where the children will be relocated and when they can be picked up.

Local radio stations will broadcast school information during an emergency.

Where to go

It is important that you follow the evacuation routes shown on the map. These routes are marked with blue-and-white evacuation signs. Go to a reception center within your own county.

Even if you do not plan to stay in a public shelter, you should register as an evacuee. It is important that you register for accountability.

While you are away

Law enforcement officers will secure the evacuated areas to protect homes and businesses. Homes and buildings with white towels on the front door will be checked often. ONLY authorized persons will be allowed into the evacuated areas.

Officials of the Alabama Department of Public Health will monitor the affected areas, and you will be notified when to return home.

Evacuation zones and routes

Know where you fit among the  Browns Ferry Emergency Planning Zone sectors. These are classified by distance from the plant—two-mile zone, five-mile zone and ten-mile zone.

Follow the Browns Ferry evacuation routes, which are tied to the emergency planning sectors.

Select the image to view high resolution map.

Small Browns Ferry Evacuation Map

Emergency Contacts

Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency
(256) 760-6363

Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency
(256) 974-7641, (256) 974-7911 (after hours)

Limestone County Emergency Management Agency
(256) 232-2631, (256) 232-1530 (after hours)

Morgan County Emergency Management Agency
(256) 351-4620, (256) 350-4613 (after hours)

Tennessee Valley Authority
(256) 729-7698
(inside local calling area)
(800) 467-1388
(outside calling area)

During emergency operations, additional telephone numbers will be published and broadcast over the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Emergency Supplies Checklist

For the home:

  • Weather alert radio
  • First aid kit
  • Toolbox
  • Candles and matches
  • Portable radio, flashlight, extra batteries

For an evacuation:

  • General first aid kit and any special medication
  • Personal health products (shaving cream, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Special dietary foods
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Cash, checkbook, credit cards
  • Important papers
  • Items to amuse children (favorite toys, books, etc.)
  • A change of clothing

If given potassium iodide tablets:

During a nuclear emergency, you might be exposed to radiation that could harm your thyroid gland, and public health officials may direct you to take potassium iodide (KI) tablets. The tablets can reduce the amount of radioactive iodine absorbed by your thyroid gland.

The tablets will be given only to those persons from the affected areas who may have been exposed to radioactive iodine. It is important that you know the sector that you evacuated from, and that you read and understand the consent form you will receive prior to taking the tablets. Take the tablets only when directed, and call your public health office if you have questions.