Housatonic Valley Health District encourages individuals to take immediate action to protect themselves and loved ones in the event a radiation emergency occurs in an area where they live or work. Examples of radiation emergeny could be; but not limited to to a dirty bomb, nuclear explosion, a nuclear powerplant accident, or a trasportation accident.For information regarding the health effects of radiation and how to protect yourself, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention at http://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/.
Why should I stay inside during a radiation emergency?
Because radioactive materials become weaker over time, staying inside for at least 24 hours can protect you and your family until it is safe to leave the area. Always listen for additional instructions from emergency officials and radiation experts.
Will a mask protect me from radiation exposure and contamination?
If you are outside during a radiation emergency and cannot get inside immediately, covering your mouth and nose with a mask, cloth, or towel can help reduce the amount of radioactive material you breathe. If you can, you should also cover your mouth with a mask, cloth, or towel when you are decontaminating other people (such as children) or pets.
What steps should I take to decontaminate myself and family?
Decontaminating yourself will lower your exposure to harmful radioactive material. Even just removing your outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material.
1)Take off your outer layer of clothing
2) Wash yourself off
3) Put on clean clothes
What does it mean to shelter-in-place during a radiation emergency?
“Sheltering-in-place” means to get inside a building and stay there. In a radiation emergency, such as a nuclear power plant accident, a nuclear detonation, or the explosion of a dirty bomb you may be asked to get inside a building and take shelter for a period of time instead of leaving. The walls of a building can block much of the harmful radiation. Because radioactive materials become weaker over time, staying inside for at least 24 hours can protect you and your family until it is safe to leave the area.
To learn more, visit the CDC’s website.
- HVHD encourages individuals to take immediate action to protect themselves and loved ones in the event a radiation emergency.
- Be sure you have your emergency supply kit ready.
- Do not leave your shelter until you are told that it is safe by local officials.
- Avoid using telephones, including cell phones, to prevent overloading the system and interfering with emergency use.
- Check your local TV and radio stations and the Internet for official news, information, and instructions.
- Turn off the fan, air condition, and heating system in your car. These bring in air from the outside. Close your vents and keep your windows rolled up.
- Take your emergency supply kit, medicines you need, extra clothes, cash and credit cards.
- Take pets only if you are using your own vehicle and going to a place you know will accept animals. Emergency vehicles and shelters usually will only accept service animals and may not accept pets.