By Denise Bacon

“PREPAREDNESS = POWER” is the name of the 5” x 8” box kit that was recently delivered to households in communities surrounding the OPG Pickering and Darlington nuclear sites.

This box contains a simple-to-follow booklet, a fridge magnet showing the emergency checklist and a flashlight pen. Residents are encouraged to browse through the information just to be prepared.

OPG has a clear and specific plan of action in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident. Provincial and municipal governments and the public will be informed through multiple channels.

Safety measures remain high and they are closely managed and monitored. It is simply higher levels of safety standards imposed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission that require this extra measure of precaution and information to be shared widely.

This recent kit is a follow-up to another kit that was distributed to households some time ago. The blue “Prepare to be safe” package contained potassium iodide (KI) pills and information about what to do in the event of a nuclear emergency. The new box has a space for the pill package. If you don’t have the KI pills, you can order them at

KI is the chemical name for potassium iodide and it is a salt of stable iodine. If necessary, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario will provide instructions through radio, TV, Internet and other available channels on where, when, how and by whom KI pills should be taken. It is important to wait for this notification! People should not take these pills unless instructed to do so.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is the federal agency that monitors the safe operation of nuclear stations. It now requires all homes and businesses within 10 kilometres of a nuclear station to receive a supply of KI pills due to increased safety standards.