Health Department

Health Department


Past Events

  • Okumamachi, Japan (March 2011) - Following an earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant lost power. Cooling system failure led to overheating, explosions, and the release of dangerously high levels of radiation.
  • Moscow, Russia (November 1995) - Chechen rebels plant a cesium-filled package in a Moscow park.

Prepare For Radiological Events

  • Make a preparedness kit. Periodically check that all items work.
  • Develop and practice a plan.

Advised Action During An Event

  • Limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to; think "TDS" (Time, Distance and Shielding).
    • Time: Minimize time of exposure to reduce your risk.
    • Distance: The farther away you are from the radiation, the lower your exposure.
    • Shielding: Put a thick shield (i.e. building, large vehicles) between yourself and the radioactive materials. More of the radiation will be absorbed, and you will be exposed to less.
  • Dangerously high levels of radiation might not be obvious, so play it safe. Wait for trained workers to survey the area to determine the level of radiation present. Follow public health authorities' instructions exactly.
  • Bring pets inside.
  • Keep fresh air outside (close doors and fireplaces, turn off fans/air conditioners that bring air inside).
  • Move to an inner room or basement.

Possible Evacuation

  • Wait for public authorities' instructions before evacuating.
  • If evacuating, then only pack essentials (preparedness kit) and leave quickly.
  • Take pets only if you are going to a place that will definitely accept animals (many public emergency shelters only allow service animals).