Nuclear strike

Nuclear incidents

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Recently we have seen the threat of nuclear attack being covered in the news. While this is a very serious risk that government at federal, state and local levels are preparing for, this is not the only nuclear risk we face. 

Another type of threat is a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) or dirty bomb. This is a device that combines conventional explosives with radiological material. An RDD cannot/does not produce a nuclear explosion or atomic blast. However, when it explodes it carries radioactive material into the surrounding area, causing a large radiological area of effect. The main cause of damage would be from the initial explosion, not the radiological material. The material would serve to contaminate the area, and causing the air, water and any food to become unsafe to breath, drink or eat. 

The best course of action if you suspect a RDD was set off in your area is to Shelter In Place (SIP) and follow directions from your local authorities. Generally, you would want to remove all clothes that you were wearing at the time of the possible exposure, put the clothes in a plastic bag and leave them outside and away from other people. Lightly wash your body with a gentle soap, without scrubbing. Then wait indoors until given news that the area is all clear and it is safe to go outside. 

If you need help with your SIP plan or need equipment or a kit to help you shelter in place, World Aware can help with your planning efforts. 

Hawaii's emergency notification system false alarm

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Recently we heard about the emergency notification sent out in Hawaii, warning the residents of an impending missile attack. This notification turned out to be a false alarm, sent by accident to the cellphones of those in Hawaii. This turned out to be an unfortunate accident, due to human error. 

Understandably, this caused a great amount of worry among those who received the message. There were reports of people running red lights, taking shelter in tunnels and a certain level of general panic. 

While this was an accident due to human error, we should still understand the need for emergency alert systems such as this. Whether it's the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) or the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) these systems are here for our safety.

One thing that we can take away from this unfortunate accident is the need to plan for major disasters. In the case of an impending nuclear strike, it may seem like a hopeless situation, but that may not be the case. Take time to make a plan for what to do if there is a large scale disaster that may require immediate action. The type of threat that the notification in Hawaii was focused on is not the only type of major disaster that may impact your area. Earthquakes, Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) incidents, wildfires and even flash floods are all events that may require quick, decisive action on your part. Discussing what you would do and making a plan will make your response to any of these less stressful. Our thoughts go out to all of those impacted by the false alarm and any trauma they may have because of it.