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Radiation Emergencies
Radiation occurs naturally and is present all around us. It is a form of energy and is measured by units called curies. The dose of radiation that someone receives is measured in rem.

Exposure can occur from the sources that range from microwave ovens, electronic equipment, diagnostic tests or nuclear weapons testing.

  • Symptoms
  • Skin reddening
  • Cancer
  • Death

Terrorist events could occur through dirty bombs. A dirty bomb is a device used to spread radioactive material into food or water using explosives that scatter radioactive material.

Preparing

  • Communities that are near nuclear reactors have a plan in place. Check with your local emergency planning group to find out what the plan is.
  • Check with nursing home, child’s school and employer to find out what their plans are.
  • Develop an emergency plan and make sure everyone knows what to do. Involve the kids with planning.

Kit

  • Bottled water
  • Canned and packaged food
  • Portable radio with batteries or hand crank radio
  • Flashlight with extra batteries or hand crank flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medicines
  • Paper towels, garbage bags and toilet paper

Protection

Sheltering in place

  • Close and lock all windows and doors
  • Turn off fans, forced-air heating units and air conditioners
  • Close fireplace dampers
  • Move to inner room or basement
  • Keep radio on your emergency response network or listen to your local news

Evacuation

Follow the instructions given by your local authorities.

Take pets only if you know where they will be accepted. Most shelters and emergency vehicles will not accept pets.

Should you take Potassium Iodide?

Potassium Iodide is only effective if a release of radioactive iodine is released. A nuclear power plant would be one incident or a nuclear bomb explosion. A dirty bomb usually doesn’t contain radioactive iodine.

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