Radiation Threat

A radiation threat can result from either an industrial accident or act of terrorism. The latter may involve a “dirty bomb” or “radiological dispersion device (RDD).” Dirty bombs are not nuclear blasts. They use common explosives to spread radioactive materials over a localized target area. While an explosion is immediately obvious, the amount of radiation present will not be fully known until trained personnel with specialized equipment arrive on the scene.

Should you encounter a radiation threat, take immediate steps to limit your exposure.

  • Limit the amount of time you are exposed to radiation to reduce risk.
  • The further you are from a nuclear blast or accidental release, the lower your exposure.
  • An undamaged shelter, house or building will serve as a shield from radioactive materials. The structure will absorb some of the radiation reducing your exposure.
  • If you are outside and an explosion occurs or authorities warn of a radiation release nearby, cover your nose and mouth and quickly go inside an undamaged structure. Or, if you are inside a home or building and it is undamaged, remain where you are. Close all doors, windows, vents, fireplace dampers, and turn off fans and ventilation systems such as air conditioners and furnaces. Seal outer doors and windows with duct tape.
  • If you are in a building and are warned of a possible radiation release inside, cover your nose and mouth and quickly exit. Look for another building or shelter nearby that is undamaged and get inside. Once inside, close all doors, windows, vents, fireplace dampers, and turn off fans and ventilation systems such as air conditioners and furnaces. Seal outer doors and windows with duct tape.
  • If you believe you have been exposed to radioactive materials, remove your clothes and wash as soon as possible. Remain where you are and listen to local radio and TV broadcasts for official news and updates.
  • Listen to radio and TV for official updates, instructions and when it is safe to leave your shelter.

Other disasters include:

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