Rapid Notify has enjoyed working with STP Nuclear Operating Company for more than 18 years. Located in Matagorda County, the STPEGS (South Texas Project Electric Generating Station) is one of the newest and largest nuclear power facilities in the nation. With a population of almost 40,000, Matagorda County is home to almost 55 miles of shoreline in the Gulf of Mexico.
The South Texas Project was named one of the 2010 America’s Safest Companies by EHS Today. STP was the first commercial nuclear facility to be recognized in the eight-year history of the award.
STP has an Emergency Response Plan that utilizes multiple communication channels such as sirens, alert radios and the Rapid Notify system to notify the public in case of an event at the plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has formally commended STP’s plan as a model for other nuclear power plants to follow. STP Nuclear has generously provided Matagorda County and its local hospitals “Sub-Account” privileges so that the Rapid Notify system can be used, separately and together, to maximize public safety efforts and inform citizens of other emergency situations in the area.
Matagorda County uses the Rapid Notify system to conduct drills for its command and control team as well as the sheriff’s office. STP has provided training for the county emergency response teams (up to 70% of which are volunteers) and has provided expertise that can be applied to situations such as hurricane or HAZMAT warnings. This invaluable training has kept Matagorda County ahead of its peers. STP has also provided training for staff at the two county hospitals. Having their A & B response teams plugged into Rapid Notify has streamlined their emergency response notification time from a 20-minute phone tree to the click of a mouse button.
STP has taken full advantage of the continually improving Rapid Notify system features over the years.
“It is great to be able to watch the alert activation process as it runs to see the immediate successful delivery of our message,” said Lurinda Barton, offsite program manger for STP Nuclear Operating Company. “We appreciate the extensive reporting capability to keep our files up-to-date with the proper documentation.”
The Rapid Notify system was recently used to contact the Matagorda Emergency Response Operations Center team and utilized the interactive response option. “We were able to confirm receipt of the message by each team member and request a response telling us how soon they would arrive,” said Doug Matthes, emergency management coordinator for Matagorda County. “The system is easy to use and a valuable tool for the county.”
“We love that Rapid Notify is so customer oriented,” added Barton. “It has always been nice to deal with a company that puts the customer first. Even though we can self-manage the system without too much assistance, the Rapid Notify team has always been there to help when we needed it.”