People in most of the areas that would be affected could be allowed to come out of shelter within a few days and, if necessary, evacuate to unaffected areas. The heaviest fallout would be limited to the area at or downwind from the explosion. It might be necessary for those in the areas with highest radiation levels to shelter for up to a month.
Getting inside a building and staying there is called "sheltering in place." Once you get in a building, there are things you can do to stay safe inside. Staying inside for at least 24 hours can protect you and your family until it is safe to leave the area, but based on your location, the source of the radiation and other factors, local officials may advise to shelter in place for as long as a month Always listen for additional instructions from emergency officials which will clarify any concerns regarding health and security.
Coping with Sheltering-in-Place
You can take actions that will help protect emotional well-being during a shelter-in-place emergency.
- Remain informed, if possible, by checking in with local news sources. Take care to ensure that reports are from credible sources.
- Excessive or repeated exposure to media can increase feelings of stress, uncertainty and fear, especially in children.
- Pay attention to your emotional health while sheltering in place, remembering that many different feelings are common.
- Know that others are also experiencing emotional reactions and may need your time and patience to put their feelings and thoughts in order. Try to recognize when you or those around you may need extra support.
- Monitor your physical health needs. When sheltering in place for more than a few hours remember to eat, rest and take regularly prescribed medications.
- Focus on positive actions you can take right away, such as taking an inventory of emergency supplies, obtaining accurate information and providing support to others.
- Additional information is available in the Coping with Sheltering-in-Place Emergencies Checklist.