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Radiation Emergencies
Emergency Response:

What You Can Do

Emergency Preparedness
and Response

Report oil or chemical spills at 800-424-8802EPA stands ready to respond to incidents involving radioactive materials. We work closely with other federal and state and local agencies to protect the public from radiation exposure during emergencies ranging from incidents at nuclear power plants, to transportation accidents involving shipments of radioactive materials, to deliberate acts of nuclear terrorism.

Call 1-800-424-8802 to report a radiation emergency.
More information about reporting and the National Response Center.

Emergency response teams have primary responsibility for assessing and responding to radiation incidents. But you can prepare ahead of time to help protect yourself and your family in the event of any type of emergency by following the tips below.

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Prepare or Purchase an Emergency Kit

Two federal web sites offer check lists for home and portable emergency kits:

These check lists cover items for you, your family, and your pets. A kids' version of this information is also available.

The American Red Cross offers an emergency kit for sale

Develop Basic Emergency Skills

Be prepared by building skills in CPR, first aid, and other live-saving skills. Local chapters of the Red Cross offer courses in life-saving skills. Many local groups, such as hospitals, rescue squads, community colleges, and fire and police stations, also offer courses in basic first aid, CPR, and other life-saving skills.

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Types of Radiation Emergencies and Appropriate Plans

Guides for developing personal and family plans are available on-line:

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Join Citizen Corps

Citizens can offer vital support to first responders. Citizen Corps was founded as part of the USA Freedom Corps, by President Bush in January of 2002. It's role is to help coordinate volunteer activities and provide opportunities to help make communities safer from crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.

Citizen Corps is coordinated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security. DHS works closely with other federal organizations, state and local governments, first responders and emergency managers, the volunteer community, and the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps.

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Resources to Help You Prepare

Protective Action Guides (EPA’s Radiation Protection Program: Emergency Response) 21 February 2006. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
This page provides information on EPA’s Protective Action Guides (PAGs), which help state and local authorities make radiation protection decisions during emergencies.

Be Informed: Radiation Threat, READY America 21 February 2006. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
This page provides information on radiation threats, such as “dirty bombs” or radiological dispersal device.

Emergency Preparedness and Response 7 February 2006. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This site provides links that give an in depth look at CDC’s role in radiological emergency response.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Dirty Bombs 21 March 2005. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This site provides links that give an in depth look at CDC’s role in radiological emergency response.

Fact Sheet on the Incident at Three Mile Island 31 March 2005. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
This page has information about the incident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant incident in Pennsylvania.

Emergency Response U.S. Department of Energy
This page gives information on how DOE helps protect the public from an incident during the transportation of radioactive material.

State and Tribal Programs Site – State Regulations and Legislation 16 February 2006. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
This site lists links that tell you about the different states and their regulations and legislation for radiation protection.

State Radiation Control Program Directors Contact Information Exit EPA Disclaimer Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors
This map allows individuals to click on their state to see contact information for their radiation control program director.

Citizen Corps Department of Homeland Security
This web site provides information on the various opportunities for citizens to become involved in preparing for emergencies.

Emergency Preparedness for Business Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This page provides links to information that will help businesses develop a comprehensive plan for dealing with terrorism-related events.

Info for the General Public Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This site provides information on a variety of topics related to radiation emergencies.

FEMA for Kids Federal Emergency Management Agency
This site helps kids prepare for emergencies. It also provides information for parents and teachers on talking with children about terrorist acts and other emergencies.

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