What To Do in the Event of a Nuclear Attack?

A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water and ground surfaces for miles around. During a nuclear incident, it is important to avoid radioactive material, if possible.

What To Do In the Event of an Attack:

Assess the situation.

Consider if you can get out of the area or if it would be better to stay inside.

To limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to, think about shielding, distance and time. The farther away you are and the least time spent exposed will reduce your overall risks.

If You're Outside and Close to the Incident:

Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to reduce the risk of breathing in radioactive dust or smoke.

Don't touch objects thrown off by an explosion -- they might be radioactive.

Quickly go into a building where the walls and windows have not been broken. This area will shield you from radiation that might be outside.

If You're Inside and Close to the Incident:

Move away from the immediate area. This will reduce exposure to any radioactive airborne dust. Shut all windows and outside doors and turn off fans, heating and air conditioning systems that bring in air from the outside. It is not necessary to put duct tape or plastic around doors or windows. Go as far below ground as possible.

Turn on the local radio or TV channels for advisories from emergency response and health authorities.

If facilities are available, remove clothes and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Removing outer clothes may get rid of up to 90 percent of radioactive dust. In addition, saving contaminated clothing will allow testing for radiation exposure.

Take a shower to clean off dirt and dust. This will reduce total radiation exposure, if the explosive device contained radioactive material.

If You're In the Car at the Time of the Incident:

Close the windows and turn off the heat, air conditioner and vents.

Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to avoid breathing radioactive dust or smoke.

If you are close to your office or a public building, go there immedidately and go inside.

If you can't get home or to another building safely, pull over to the side of the road. If it's hot, try to park in a shady spot.

Turn off the engine and listen to the radio for instructions. Stay in the car until you're told it's safe to get back on the road.

For more information go to: Federal Emergency Management Agency

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