Protective Actions

During an emergency, conditions are assessed to determine what actions are necessary to protect the public and environment. If you live within two miles of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) or Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12), the sirens will be your first warning to initiate protective actions. If protective actions are required beyond the two-mile range of the sirens, citizens will be notified via Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages, social media, or local notification systems.

Additional Information about the emergency will be provided through EAS messages, social media, news releases. The Emergency Alert System messages will provide specific protective actions the public should take, if necessary, as directed by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Sheltering-in-place provides protection from potential airborne hazardous materials that may have been released. If you hear the sirens, or are directed to shelter-in-place at work or at home, follow these instructions:

·      Bring everyone inside (including pets).

·      Close all doors and windows.

·      Turn off or close all ventilation systems, including:

-       Air conditioning

-       Attic & exhaust fans

-       Furnaces

-       Fireplace dampers

-       Heating/cooling systems

·      Determine what Sector you are in (see Emergency Planning Zone tab).

·      Continue to shelter-in-place and listen to one of the EAS stations.

When the outside air is no longer dangerous, the EAS will announce that sheltering-in-place has ended, and that it is safe to open and ventilate your home or building. Reception Centers may also be opened for individuals who cannot return home because shelter-in-place has been ordered for the area in which they live. If you are affected in this manner, please listen to EAS stations for announcements of Reception Centers being opened or go to the home of a friend or relative that is outside the area of concern.

Shelter-in-place will be the first protective action that may directed for an affected area. However, if there is a continuing airborne hazard, or if levels of deposition make an area unsafe, evacuation may be directed.

If you are directed to evacuate from your home or while at work, follow these guidelines:

  • Determine what Sector you are in (see ORR EPZ tab). The EAS message will direct you to a specific Reception Center.
  • If you do not have transportation, call a neighbor or co-worker for assistance. DO NOT CALL 911.
  • Keep your vehicle windows closed and turn off air systems to eliminate the possible intake of outside air into your vehicle.
  • Tune your vehicle’s radio to one of the pre-designated EAS stations listed in the Warning tab.
  • Secure your home or workplace. Before leaving home, tie a white cloth or towel on your front door to indicate to emergency officials that you have evacuated.
  • If you are at home, gather items you will need for a short stay away from home, such as:

-       Medicine and all prescriptions

-       Personal health products

-       Special diet food and supplies

-       Food, water, and pet food

-       Blankets, pillows, and/or sleeping bag

-       Cash, checkbook, debit and credit cards, and important papers

-       Baby Items for children

-       Change of clothing

-       Cell phone and charger

For additional information on preparing for an emergency, go to TEMA’s website at

Every school in the potentially affected area has an emergency plan that will be implemented to ensure your children are kept safe. Affected schools will be notified of the ORR emergency by local officials. Your children will be sheltered in their school until it is safe to leave.

In the event of a school relocation, your children will be transported by school officials to a safe facility outside of the affected area.

[PARENTS: Please DO NOT pick up your children until you are told it is safe to do so]

What Schools are in the Five-Mile EPZ?

School Name

Sector (School District)

Linden Elementary

Sector H (Oak Ridge)

Willow Brook Elementary

Sector H (Oak Ridge)

Norwood Elementary

Sector J (Anderson County)

Norwood Middle School

Sector J (Anderson County)

Oliver Springs High School

Sector J (Roane County)

Oliver Springs Middle School

Sector J (Roane County)

Dyllis Springs Elementary

Sector J (Roane County)

Grand Oaks Elementary

Sector M (Anderson County)

Oak Ridge Glenwood Elementary

Sector M (Oak Ridge)


Sector M (Oak Ridge)

Christian Academy of Oak Ridge

Sector N (Private)

Jefferson Middle School

Sector N (Oak Ridge)

Hardin Valley Academy

Sector Q (Knox County)

Hardin Valley Elementary

Sector Q (Knox County)

Hardin Valley Middle

Sector Q (Knox County)

Eaton Elementary

Sector S (Loudon County)

North Middle School

Sector S (Loudon County)

St Mary's School

Sector Y (Private)

Oak Ridge High School

Sector Y (Oak Ridge)

Robertsville Middle School

Sector Y (Oak Ridge)

Woodland Elementary School

Sector Y (Oak Ridge)