In cooperation with the Berrien County Office of Emergency Preparedness, Coloma Community Schools has developed a school closing or evacuation procedure in the event of the following:
- a nuclear power plant emergency at either the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near Covert or the Cook Nuclear Power Plant near Bridgman;
- a derailment of a train carrying hazardous chemicals;
- or an accident involving a truck containing hazardous chemicals.
The possibility exists that due to unforeseen conditions, an emergency arising at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant would require closing of – or in an extreme emergency – evacuation of students. Four levels of emergencies are recognized, listed in order of severity.
- Notification of Unusual Event
- Site Area Emergency
- General Emergency
When notified by the appropriate authority that a Site Area Emergency exists, Coloma Schools will be closed until the emergency situation is corrected. In the remote instance where evacuation is ordered while school is in session, all Coloma Community Schools students will be relocated to Coloma High School. Parents may pick up their child/ren at the CHS Gym lobby. It is very important that the parent check the child/ren out with a staff member before leaving the gym.
School closing and/or evacuation will be reported to local radio stations just as in the event of closure due to severe weather.
In the event an emergency arises at the Cook Plant in Bridgman, Coloma Schools is designated as a receiving center for people within a 10-mile radius. This 10-mile radius is called the Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). Coloma High School would be the receiving location. If the number of people received at the high school should exceed high school capacity, it may be possible that the high school and junior high students would be sent home to allow more available space. If this should happen it would be announced on the radio stations as is done in cases of severe weather.