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Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS)

Radiological Hazards

There is no clear way for a person to know if radiation is in the air. The best way to know about radiological hazards is to listen to information provided by emergency officials.  As with any explosion, take the following precautions:

  • If you are outside and there is an explosion or authorities warn of a radiation release nearby, cover your nose and mouth and quickly go inside a building that has not been damaged. If you are already inside check to see if your building has been damaged. If your building is stable, stay where you are.
  • If you are inside and there is an explosion near where you are or you are warned of a radiation release inside, cover nose and mouth and go outside immediately. Look for a building or other shelter that has not been damaged and quickly get inside.
  • Close windows and doors; turn off air conditioners, heaters or other ventilation systems.
  • To limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to, think about limiting time exposed to radiation, putting enough distance between  you and the blast, and shielding yourself from radioactive materials.

Although it may take some time for officials to determine if radiation is present, it is vital to listen to the radio or watch television for further instructions.

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For more information on radiological hazards:

Ready - Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed - FEMA's preparedness education campaign


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FEMA's radiological preparedness website


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