*** THIS IS AN EXERCISE: THIS IS NOT A REAL EVENT. ***
For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2009 • 9:00 p.m.
A dirty bomb is constructed to spread a limited amount of radioactive material with explosives. It is NOT a nuclear bomb. Unless you were in the immediate area of the blasts today, it’s unlikely you were contaminated enough to cause any harm.
Radioactive contamination occurs when radioactive material settles on a surface. That surface could be your body or clothing, a structure or an object. Contamination also can be internal when radioactive materials are eaten, inhaled, injected or absorbed.
You cannot see, smell, feel or otherwise sense radiation. Radiation can only be detected using specialized instruments. With specialized instruments, radiation is easily detected. Emergency responders are skilled in using these instruments, and this work is underway in Vermont.
In some cases, radioactivity may attach to fine dust or other material and be distributed by winds for miles. Because low level radioactive contamination may be carried by winds into the state, Vermonters may be advised to take additional precautions to limit contamination.
Anyone who is in Vermont is NOT in immediate danger. Vermonters and visitors in our state are advised to:
- Stay where you are. Do not travel to Albany until it is known to be safe. Take shelter. Staying indoors may be the best plan for now.
- Check in if you have family members visiting or working in Albany. Just dial 2-1-1. We will work to get you information as soon as possible.
- Stay tuned to TV or radio for regular updates and instructions. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will alert you to any actions you should take to protect yourself and loved ones.
You can also:
- Shower or wash yourself often with soap and water, change into clean clothes, and help children (and pets) do the same. Also remove shoes or boots before entering your home.
- Drink only water and eat only foods that have not been outside and exposed to the air.
- Let children know that health and safety officials are doing everything to make sure that children, pets and their families will be safe.
For anyone who believes they may have been contaminated from being in the Albany area at the time of the blasts:
- Take off your clothes, including shoes or boots, and put all in a sealed plastic bag. Write your name on the bag and put it where people and animals cannot touch it. Bagged clothing can be examined later to determine if you were contaminated.
- Take a long shower, or wash your body and hair all over with soap and water. Put on clean clothes.
- Call the Vermont Department of Health at 800-439-8550, or dial 2-1-1 for further instructions.
Regular updates, information and instructions will be provided through TV and radio. You can also visit http://healthvermont.gov - or - dial 2-1-1 for information in any language.