What if it Does Happen Here?
Radiation is not an all or nothing phenomenon. We are constantly exposed to low levels of radiation, both from outer space, and the Earth itself. Airline passengers typically receive radiation 40 times more intense than that experienced on the ground. Some areas of the U.S., like the Rocky Mountains, have much higher levels of naturally occurring radiation. Radiation exposure is most harmful when a high dose is received in a short period of time. If a person receives a 10 Roentgen radiation dose within a few days (equivalent to a lifetime of background dose), the risk of fatal cancer is increased less than 1 percent. A 100 Roentgen dose can cause radiation sickness, and several hundred Roentgens can prove fatal. Cancer patients are routinely given doses of hundreds of Roentgens over the course of treatment.
Terrorists could cause great disruption and economic damage with a Radiation Dispersal Device (RDD). A saltshaker full of easily acquired Cesium 137 powder sprinkled from a quad-copter, or packed into a small explosive device (Dirty Bomb) could render a critical building permanently uninhabitable or contaminate a few city blocks and cause irrational panic over a whole region. Those near enough to breathe visible smoke or dust from the dispersion could experience a small increase in lifetime cancer risk, but nobody uninjured by the explosion itself is likely to receive a dose strong enough to cause radiation sickness.
A vastly more serious terrorist attack would be the detonation of a military nuclear weapon or an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND). An IND equivalent in power to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs could be made from as little as 7 pounds of Plutonium. It is estimated that tens of thousands of INDs could be made from current global civilian and military stockpiles of fissile materials. Such a device could be small enough to carry in a backpack or briefcase. It could reduce a square mile area to rubble and spread deadly radiation over hundreds of square miles.
Currently most of the government's efforts have been focused on interdiction, which is locating and intercepting an IND or dirty bomb before it is detonated. Those few emergency services responders who carry radiation detection devices have routinely been issued super-sensitive interdiction instruments which become saturated (overloaded) and become unreliable above 10-100mR/hr. Even the best of these devices cannot pick up a nuclear or radiological weapon more than 50 feet away. Interdiction is likely to fail. We also need population protection instruments suitable for a post-detonation environment in schools, workplaces and facilities serving significant numbers of people. The personal radiation detector should be able to identify the best possible shelter in high radiation environments and also be sensitive enough for decontamination and preliminary evaluation of food supplies in a disrupted society. The NukAlert-ER Geiger counter is an inexpensive instrument that covers this wide measurement range requirement.
The days of fallout shelters marked by yellow and black radiation symbols have passed. Today, we are not prepared for radiation incidents that could occur from military actions, nuclear power plant accidents, or terrorist incidents. The excuse "It Can't Happen Here" is no longer valid. Learn about how to survive a radiological event by preparing food, water, and other supplies for your family. Learn how to use a radiation measurement device before an incident occurs.
Welcome to our new and improved website. For many years, we have been focused on our line of award-winning educational DVDs. These have been produced with the intent of helping you prepare for the unknown. Our titles are currently found in schools, libraries, fire departments, hospitals, and homes around the world. Our programs are updated when new information becomes available to help you plan for your future.
Emergency Preparedness is something I have been involved with most of my life. From my days as a fireman, EMT, and journalist, I have viewed firsthand many different levels of emergency preparedness. While working for the television networks as a video journalist, I often traveled throughout the country to cover major disasters. One common theme voiced by many survivors, was “If I had only taken a few minutes to prepare!” Emergency Preparedness could have avoided many injuries, saved lives, and prevented families’ lives from being disrupted.
Floods, volcanic eruptions, blizzards, tornadoes, wild land fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are increasing as a result of global warming. The need to be prepared is greater than ever.
I have witnessed many wind-driven wildfires race through the Colorado wilderness, filling the air with smoke, dust, soot, and particles as they advance. I have been evacuated several times and have an emergency escape kit that I know how to stock in the event I am forced to flee my home in an emergency.
If you have only minutes to evacuate your home or business, would you know what to bring with you? Are your important papers easy to gather and carry from your home?
It is easy to become complacent in our lives and believe “it will not happen to me”. No one is immune to the forces of nature or the acts of man. Medical emergencies and disruptions caused by events like chemical spills and nuclear radiation leaks can happen suddenly.
For families and businesses, having water and food stored is essential. Having a list of your medications, important account numbers, phone numbers of friends and family, cell phone charger, and passport gathered in one area of your home for easy access can prevent life disruptions, in the event of a disaster evacuation.
There are too many “what ifs” to list. The minimum a family should have is an operable home fire extinguisher and a well-stocked first aid kit. All family members should be knowledgeable in the proper use of these items.
In the coming weeks, we will talk about current medical issues, how to detect radiation, and how to purify and store water plus much more from today’s headlines. Check out our new product section for many items that could save your life.