Radiation is a type of energy. People are exposed to small amounts of radiation every day from sources such as sunlight.
CAUSES OF RADIATION EMERGENCY
A radiation emergency would involve larger amounts of radiation and could be caused by
- Dirty bombs – a mix of explosives with radioactive powder
- Fallout from a nuclear bomb
- Accidental release from a nuclear reactor or a nuclear weapons plant
A lot of radiation over a short period can cause burns or radiation sickness. If the exposure is large enough, it can cause premature aging or even death.
Although there are no guarantees of safety during a radiation emergency, you can take actions to protect yourself. You should have a disaster plan. Being prepared can help reduce fear, anxiety and losses. If you do experience a disaster, it is normal to feel stressed. You may need help in finding ways to cope.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN CASE OF A RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY?
-Get inside, stay inside and stay tuned to radio, TV or internet. Follow instructions from local responders.
-Keep in mind that evacuation may not always be appropriate depending on the situation. Sometimes, simply staying inside is a better choice for preventing or reducing radiation exposure during a radiological emergency.
-Buildings can provide significant protection from radiation. Getting inside quickly and staying inside after a radiological incident can limit your exposure to radiation and possibly save your life.
-If you witness an incident or other emergency involving radioactive material, report it to the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802.
-For more information about protecting yourself and your family in the event of a radiological emergency, visit Radiological Emergency Response.
-Information about what to do during radiological emergencies is also available on Radiation Emergencies at CDC.gov.