Nuclear & Radiological

Radiological Emergencies

A radiation emergency could result from a nuclear power plant accident, the explosion of a nuclear device, or a dirty bomb. A dirty bomb is an explosive, like dynamite, that contains radioactive materials. Blasts from these explosions can cause deaths, serious injuries, and property damage.

Exposure to very large doses of radiation may cause death within a few days or months; exposure to lower doses of radiation may lead to an increased risk of developing cancer or other adverse health effects years in the future.

In a radiation emergency, officials will monitor the amount of radiation and advise the public what to do. The DOH will oversee clean-up and removal of any dangerous materials.

To learn more about radiation emergencies, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nuclear Attack

Although extremely unlikely, a nuclear attack can occur if an enemy state or terrorists deliberately fire a missile armed with a nuclear weapon at a city, military base, etc., or transport a nuclear weapon into such an area in order to cause mass casualties. While recent developments in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have made more people aware of such threats, nuclear preparedness has long been a component of all-hazards preparedness and emergency officials have included it as part of their planning for many years.

A nuclear attack would be devastating. However, knowledge and preparation ahead of time may increase the likelihood of surviving the effects of the blast, radiation, and other health threats associated with such an incident. If an attack is imminent, everyone must Get Inside, Stay Inside, and Stay Tuned.

Below are links to other agencies that provide useful information about nuclear preparedness:

Last reviewed September 2021