HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health will be offering free potassium iodide (KI) tablets on Thursday, Aug. 17 to those who live within 10 miles of the state’s four active nuclear power plants.

The Department of Health says that this is part of an annual and routine preventive effort in case of future emergencies.

“Making potassium iodide tablets available for residents is a critical part of emergency preparedness and public health,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “Radiological emergencies are rare, but it is important to have tablets on hand. The tablets should only be taken when instructed and in the event of an emergency, Pennsylvanians should follow local authorities’ instructions.”

KI helps protect the thyroid gland against radioactive iodine and can be taken by anyone if they are not allergic. The department also says that it is safe for pregnant women in those who are breastfeeding.

The department says that if one is unsure if they should take the tablets, they should ask a healthcare provider and only take the tablets if instructed by state health officials.

Those who live near the power stations can get the free KI tablets at the following locations.

Beaver Valley Power Station

  • Beaver Valley Mall – Center at the Mall, Unit #284, 570 Beaver Valley Mall Blvd. Monaca, PA, 15061 (2:00 PM to 7:00 PM)

Limerick Generating Station

  • Keystone Fire Company, 240 N. Walnut St. Boyertown, PA 19512 (2:00 PM to 7:00 PM) 
  • Kimberton Fire Company Banquet Hall, 2276 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460 (12:30 PM to 6:30 PM.)
  • Limerick Fire Department, 390 W Ridge Pike, Limerick, PA, 19512 (9:00 AM to 3:00 PM)
  • Pottstown Health Center, 364 King St. Pottstown, PA 19464 (9:00 AM to 3:00 PM)

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station 

  • East Drumore Township Municipal Building, 925 Robert Fulton Hwy., Quarryville, PA, 17566 (2:00 PM to 7:00 PM)
  • Peach Bottom Recreation Center, 5 Pendyrus St. Delta, PA, 17314 (2:00 PM to 7:00 PM)

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station  

  • Berwick City Hall, 1800 N. Market St. Berwick, PA 18603
     (2:00 PM to 7:00 PM)
  • Butler Township Community Center, 411 West Butler Drive, Drums, PA 18222 (2:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.)
  • Luzerne County Community College, Public Safety Center, 1333 South Prospect St. Nanticoke, PA, 18634 (2:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.)

Information sheets explaining how many KI tablets should be taken, when to take the tablets, and how to store them are provided with the packages.