THIS IS AN EXERCISE: THIS IS NOT A REAL EVENT.
For Immediate Release: Oct. 25, 2012
Media Contact: Communications Office
Vermont Department of Health
WATERBURY – State officials have confirmed that an explosion this morning in Pittsford was caused by a radiological dispersal device (RDD), which is also known as a “dirty bomb.” A dirty bomb is designed to spread radioactive material with explosives, but is not a nuclear bomb. This morning’s explosion is being investigated as a possible terrorist event by federal and state law enforcement officials.
Initial reports indicate that the radioactive material called Cesium 137 has been detected in the immediate area of the explosion. The highest amounts of Cesium 137 are found near the site of the explosion, but some contamination will disperse into the surrounding areas.
“Our first priority is for all Vermonters to find shelter immediately and stay tuned to television or radio for further instructions, “ Gov. Peter Shumlin said. “This is a time for us to pull together as Vermonters and follow the directions of emergency response officials.”
State and federal radiological health experts are working to assess the situation and any actions needed to protect public health, animals and the environment.
If you are in Pittsford or surrounding areas, do the following as quickly as possible:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a protective layer, such as a cloth or towel, to reduce the amount of potentially harmful particles that you breathe.
- Get inside a building immediately, close all windows and doors, and go to the basement or to the center of the building.
- The safest buildings have brick or concrete walls.
- Cars will NOT protect you from radiation – go inside a building.
- Do not leave the shelter you are in – it is the safest place for you and your loved ones to be.
- Plan to stay inside for at least 12-24 hours, or until you are instructed by officials or emergency responders to do otherwise.
- Do not leave your building to get children, pets, or adults. Children or adults in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care facilities will be cared for at the facility and will not be released to go outside.
- The Emergency Alert System will broadcast important safety messages over cell phones, radio, television and Internet.
For more information please visit healthvermont.gov, or call the Vermont Public Information line by dialing 2-1-1.
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