Just as we prepare for fires, floods, tornadoes, active shooters and earthquakes, it is important to also be prepared for a radiological or nuclear emergency. Fortunately, these types of occurrences are VERY rare. We know that radiation can sound scary - but, as you will see below - there are simple steps we can take to help protect ourselves, our families and the children in our care.
The Institute for Childhood Preparedness' Executive Director, Andrew Roszak, has spent years working on hazardous materials and radiation preparedness and response. Andy is a certified as a hazardous materials technician and in hazardous materials operations. He also oversaw funding and projects from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Radiation Studies Branch during his time as the Senior Director of Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness and Catastrophic Response at the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
Andy was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal to discuss emergency planning for radiological incidents and the use of potassium-iodide pills. While helpful if taken under the right circumstances, there are many other considerations that we should be thinking about in terms of radiation preparedness.
First and foremost, during a radiological incident, we will want to take shelter inside. For us, this means ensuring our emergency supplies, including food and water, are stocked up and ready to go. Plan to shelter-in-place for at least 24 hours. Let's take a look at the video below to learn how you can best be prepared for a radiation or nuclear incident.
For additional information, please visit the CDC's Radiation Studies Branch Radiation Emergency website
"Helping Child Care Providers Prepare for Radiation Emergencies" - Webinar conducted in 2018 - featuring Andrew Roszak and experts from the CDC's Radiation Studies Branch
(conducted while Andy was senior director of emergency preparedness at Child Care Aware of America - video from Child Care Aware of America's YouTube Channel)
Overview of the Radiation Legal Preparedness: Educational Facilities Project - National Association of County and City Health Officials