Friday, April 23, 2010

Could You Resist the Urge to Run?

Earlier this week, In Case of Emergency: Read Blog posted an article about whether the public knows how to respond to threats of a dirty bomb attack here within the United States. A quoted article about dirty bomb preparedness in New York City noted that our intuitive "survival instinct" in people to fight-or-flight may result in actions that actually risk our lives because the primary protective action may be to  "shelter-in-place." 

How will you know if an explosion is a "dirty bomb"?  You won't.  All emergency responders are trained to treat an explosive situations as potentially dirty or radioactive until proven otherwise.  The same logic should apply to how we prepare and respond as part of the community. 

Rather than waiting until we have a local threat to discuss what protective actions we should take, CRESA encourages everyone to learn these public preparedness tips for dirty bombs from the Center for Disease Control today.

If you are 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 ANY objects thrown off by the explosion as they may be radioactive
  • Quickly go into a building where the walls and windows have not been broken 
  • Once you are inside, take off your outer layer of clothing and seal it in a plastic bag, if available
  • Removing your clothes may get rid of up to 90% of radioactive dust
  • Put the plastic bag where others will not touch it 
  • Shower or wash with soap and water.  Be sure to wash your hair  
  • Tune to local radio or television news for more instructions  
If you are INSIDE and CLOSE to the Incident:
  • If the walls and windows of the building are not broken, STAY INSIDE the building and do not leave
  • Shut all windows, outside doors and fireplace dampers
  • Turn off fans, heating and air-conditioning systems that bring in air from the outside
  • If the walls and windows are broken, go to an interior room and do not leave
  • If the building has been heavily damaged, quickly go into another building where the walls and windows have not been broken
  • Remove your clothing, shower and listen to the local media as instructed above
If you are INSIDE A CAR during the Incident:
  • Close the windows and turn off the air conditioner, heater and vents
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to avoid breathing dust or smoke
  • If you are close to your home or office, go there immediately and go inside quickly
  • If you cannot get to your home or office safely, pull over tot he side of the road and stop in the safest place possible
  • Turn off the engine and listen to the radio for further instructions
  • Stay in your car until you are told it is safe to get back on the road
How do I protect my pets?
  • If you have pets outside, bring them inside if it can be done safely
  • Wash your pets with soap and water to remove any potential radioactive dust

No comments: