Delaware to Distribute Potassium Iodide (KI) Tablets
(Smyrna) – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and Delaware Division of Public Health will distribute potassium iodide (KI) tablets to Delaware residents living within a ten mile radius of the Salem/Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations.
The free tablets will be distributed on Thursday, April 11, 2019, between 12 noon and 7 p.m. at the Townsend Fire Station, 107 Main Street in Townsend, Delaware. Delaware residents living within the ten mile radius in an Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) have received notification of the distribution via U.S. Mail.
Potassium iodide is available to residents who received it previously and whose tablets have reached their expiration date, as well as those who never received the tablets. Individuals with home or business addresses within the EPZ are eligible to receive the KI tablets. Those who are eligible to receive KI tablets should bring a photo ID such as a driver’s license, proof of residency such as a utility bill, or proof of employment within the EPZ, when they go to the Townsend Fire Hall. Residents who have potassium iodide that has passed the expiration date can bring those tablets to the distribution center to exchange for new tablets.
Potassium iodide does not protect against external radiation, but can help protect the thyroid gland from ingested or inhaled radioactive iodine that might be released in a radiation emergency. KI is one of the measures outlined in Delaware’s emergency plans developed for use in a nuclear incident. The State of Delaware received the tablets when it chose to participate in a program initiated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
In the event of a radiation emergency, state and local officials will inform the public through an Emergency Alert System (EAS) message via local radio stations with instructions on how affected residents should react, directions to evacuation routes and emergency reception centers, and when to take the KI tablets.
Delaware residents living outside of the 10-mile EPZ who would like to obtain potassium iodide tablets should contact their pharmacist. KI is available over-the-counter at some local pharmacies.
For additional information regarding the potassium iodide distribution program in Delaware, call the Delaware Emergency Management Agency Radiological Emergency Planning section at 302-659-3362.