Indian Point e-mail gaffe sparks call for notification change

Some say the state?s erroneous e-mail alert about an emergency at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant highlights the need for a better communication system.
Buchanan Mayor Dan O'Neill is calling on Westchester to join other counties around Indian Point in using a new automated calling system. When the State Emergency Management Office sent out e-mails Wednesday stating there was an emergency at Indian Point, O'Neill never received it. When a short time later another e-mail was sent, pointing out the omission of a line saying it was a test, O'Neill did not get that one either. O'Neill contends the incident points out why Westchester should accept Entergy's offer for an automated emergency calling system called "Code Red."
However, Susan Tolchin, the chief advisor to Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, says the county is already using an automated system like "Code Red." She says they've worked out the bugs that plague all automated systems. Tolchin also points out the e-mail system was never intended to be the main notification system for either government officials or the public in the four counties around the plant. She says it is primarily intended for the media. In addition to claiming Westchester's calling system is better, Tolchin says in light of Wednesday?s incident she wants the county in control of an emergency message. While Westchester has not officially rejected "Code Red," Tolchin makes it clear county officials are not interested.
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