The Seabrook Nuclear Power Station (“Seabrook”) is located in Seabrook, New Hampshire. The area that is approximately 10 miles around Seabrook is called the Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). Massachusetts communities in the EPZ are: Amesbury, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, and West Newbury.


People that live, work, or vacation within the 10 mile EPZ should be prepared for an emergency at Seabrook and be familiar with the EPZ’s emergency plans and procedures

Emergency Classification Levels

If an emergency is declared at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station, it would be categorized into one of four emergency levels.

Unusual Event: This means a minor problem has occurred at the plant. It may involve situations such as hazardous weather or a minor equipment problem. Public officials would be notified, but there would be no need to sound the warning signals. People in the area would not need to take any special actions.

Alert: This could affect plant safety but it is not expected to require any special actions by residents. Public officials would be notified. Officials would monitor the situation and would be ready to act if it got worse. As a precaution, public officials may mobilize transportation resources, transfer school children to host facilities outside the area and clear state forests and waterways. State and local officials will convey necessary actions and important information through EAS radio or television broadcasts and other alerting systems.

Site Area Emergency: This means a more serious problem affecting the plant and plant boundaries has occurred. Any release of radioactive materials would be below federal limits. As a precaution, state officials may move school children to host facilities outside the area if this had not already been done. Other precautions would be called for by state officials, as needed. State and local officials will convey necessary actions and important information through EAS radio or television broadcasts and other alerting systems.

General Emergency: This is the most serious type of emergency. It could involve serious damage at the plant and a release of radioactive materials. State officials might direct persons in some areas to shelter-in-place or to evacuate to a safer location. State and local officials will convey necessary actions and important information through EAS radio or television broadcasts and other alerting systems.

Before an Emergency at Seabrook

During an Emergency: How You Will Be Notified

If there is an emergency requiring public notification, you will be alerted by one or more of the following warning systems:

  • The loud, steady tone of the outdoor emergency sirens, lasting three minutes
  • Outdoor sirens would alert people at the beaches and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Department of the Interior would also alert people at the refuge.
  • Announcements from town harbormasters or an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast from the U.S. Coast Guard
  • A message on Teletypewriters (TTYs) if you have registered with a town Emergency Management Office to be notified over TTY in case of an emergency
  • Massachusetts Alerts Smartphone app
  • CodeRed notification system
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)

If you hear any of these signals, turn to one of the EAS radio stations immediately.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

If you are alerted by the warning signal, you should tune to your local EAS station for emergency instructions. EAS is the direct link between you and the people responsible for your safety. Instructions may be given to you at any hour, day or night, and will include recommendations as to what you should do for your protection. Follow instructions carefully. Do not worry if you miss the beginning of an emergency broadcast. Information will be provided regularly.

Local EAS StationsAM/FM
Boston1030 AM
Boston98.5 FM
Boston93.7 FM
Haverhill92.5 FM
Newburyport1450 AM
Newburyport106.1 FM

In case of an emergency, always stay tuned to an EAS station for your area.

Check with your neighbors, especially the elderly or persons who have difficulty hearing or seeing, to make sure they have received the warning and know what to do.

During an Emergency: If Told to Shelter-in-Place

You may be instructed to shelter-in-place. This means you should immediately go inside the nearest available building. If you are already inside, stay there. Sheltering-in-place may provide the best protection. If a shelter-in-place message is given for your area, you should do the following:

  • Go indoors and close all doors and windows.
  • Turn off all window fans, clothes dryers, kitchen and bath exhaust fans, air conditioners, and other sources of outside air, unless told to do otherwise.
  • Below ground basements provide the best shelter. Avoid areas near windows; above ground, interior rooms on lower floors provide the best protection.
  • Continue to listen to your EAS station for official messages and updated directions. Call 2-1-1 for questions about the emergency.
  • Follow instructions given by public safety officials.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • If you have livestock, shelter them too. Give them stored feed and water from a covered source.
  • Stay inside until officials say otherwise. If you must go outside, cover your nose and mouth with a folded, damp cloth. Persons with respiratory disorders should not go out at all, until told to do so by government officials.
  • If you are traveling in a motor vehicle in the affected area, close the windows and air vents. Keep the radio tuned to an EAS station. If you are a local resident, go home immediately and stay inside. If you are a visitor, leave the area immediately, or go inside a nearby building or a public shelter and monitor EAS for additional information.  
  • If sheltering-in-place is recommended during school hours, children will be sheltered in the school building and cared for by school personnel.

During an Emergency: If Told to Evacuate

Take the following actions ONLY if your area is told to evacuate:

  • Take your pets with you.
  • Gather all persons in the house together.
  • Take essential items and your emergency kit.
  • DO NOT try to pick up children at their schools. They will be taken to designated host facilities outside the area where you may pick them up later: See Seabrook Plans for Children pdf format of Seabrook Plans for Children
  • Household members outside the area may be advised not to return during an evacuation. They will be directed to the reception center where they can join you.
  • DO NOT call your local fire or police departments for information. Emergency workers will need their telephone lines for emergency use. Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter location and other emergency information.
  • The Commissioner of Public Health may recommend that evacuating individuals ingest potassium iodide pdf format of Seabrook Potassium Iodide
  • Continue to listen to your EAS station for official messages and updated directions.
  • Follow instructions given by public safety officials.

As You Leave

  • Turn off lights and unnecessary appliances.
  • Close and lock windows and doors.
  • Check with neighbors to see if they need assistance. Offer to share transportation, if you can.
  • If you need a ride, try to get one with neighbors.
  • If you cannot get a ride, find the Seabrook emergency bus routes pdf format of Seabrook Emergency Bus Routes
within your sub-areas. Buses will pick you up along bus routes and at pick-up points shown on those maps.
  • If you cannot get to the bus routes or pick-up points, contact your local Emergency Management Office. Emergency workers will arrange transportation for you.
  • If you have livestock, shelter them. Leave them a three-day supply of stored feed and water that has been protected from possible contamination.

How to Travel

  • While traveling in the car, keep all windows and vents closed until you have left the EPZ.
  • Keep the car radio tuned to an EAS station.
  • Drive out of the area along one of the Seabrook Evacuation Routes pdf format of Seabrook Evacuation Routes
file size 1MB. The use of these suggested main roads will expedite the movement of evacuating traffic away from Seabrook Station. They are the quickest, safest, main routes to use in an emergency.

Reception Center

A Reception Center is available to assist evacuees in the event of a radioactive release. The reception center is located at Masconomet Regional School (20 Endicott Rd, Boxford, MA), which is outside the 10-mile EPZ. At the reception center, you will be registered and monitored for contamination and care for anyone needing this type of assistance. You will be able to receive information about the location of other members of your family who have already registered at the reception center. If you need a place to stay, you will be directed to a mass care shelter that provides meals and lodging. The reception center and mass care shelters are handicap accessible. If you have additional needs, officials will assist you. If you can, you may want to stay with friends or relatives until the emergency is over.

Directions to Seabrook Reception Center pdf format of Seabrook Evacuation Routes
file size 1MB.

After an Emergency at Seabrook

  • Continue to monitor the media for emergency information.
  • Follow instructions from public safety officials.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies. Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter locations and other disaster information.
  • If you have evacuated, return home only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • If you have been advised to shelter in place, do not leave your home until officials announce that it is safe to do so.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance.
  • See more tips for After A Disaster.

Important Telephone Numbers

 For Help During a Nuclear EmergencyFor Emergency Planning Information in Advance
West Newbury978-363-2388978-363-1103
MEMA Region I Emergency Operations Center978-328-1500 

Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter locations and other emergency information.