Hotel and Layover Safety
Nuclear Emergency Preparedness & Response
A nuclear emergency could be an accident in a nuclear power plant, a nuclear explosion, or a dirty bomb. Though the possibility of a nuclear exposure event is minuscule, it is always better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. If a nuclear emergency happens nearby, this guidance offers tips to help protect yourself and others around you.
The video below is a good introduction on what to do in the event of a nuclear emergency. Below the video is additional guidance on what to do in an emergency event.
If An Attack/Exposure Occurs With No Notice or an Attack/Exposure Warning Is Issued
- Listen for official information and follow the instructions provided by hotel and emergency response personnel.
- Take cover as quickly as you can, below ground if possible, and stay there until instructed to do otherwise.
- Find the nearest building, preferably built of brick or concrete, and go inside to avoid any radioactive material outside.
- Vehicles, including aircraft, do not provide protection.
- If better shelter, such as a multi-story building or basement can be reached within a few minutes, go there immediately.
- Go as far below ground as possible or in the center of a tall building. Radioactive material settles on the outside of buildings; so the best thing to do is stay as far away from the walls and roof of the building as you can.
- If you are with your crew or able to make contact with other Alaska crew members, stay together. You may need to count on one another for support. If you are not with your crew, do not go looking for them; your first priority is to take shelter.
During an Attack/Exposure Event
- Stay inside. Close and lock all windows and doors.
- If possible, turn off fans, air conditioners, and forced-air heating units that bring air in from the outside. Close fireplace dampers.
- During the time with the highest radiation levels it is safest to stay inside, sheltered away from the radioactive material outside.
- Radiation levels are extremely dangerous after a nuclear detonation but the levels reduce rapidly.
- Expect to stay inside for at least 24 hours unless told otherwise by authorities.
- When evacuating is in your best interest, you will be instructed to do so. All available methods of communication will be used to provide news and/or instructions.
If you are outside and unable to get inside immediately
- Do not look at the flash or fireball – it can blind you.
- Take cover behind anything that might offer protection.
- Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit.
- Take shelter as soon as you can, even if you are many miles from ground zero where the attack occurred – radioactive fallout can be carried by the winds for hundreds of miles.
- If you were outside during or after the blast, get clean as soon as possible, to remove radioactive material that may have settled on your body.
- Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material.
- If practical, place your contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and seal or tie the bag. Place the bag as far away as possible from humans and animals so that the radiation it gives off does not affect others.
- When possible, take a shower with lots of soap and water to help remove radioactive contamination. Do not scrub or scratch the skin.
- Wash your hair with shampoo or soap and water. Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair, keeping it from rinsing out easily.
- Gently blow your nose and wipe your eyelids and eyelashes with a clean wet cloth. Gently wipe your ears.
- If you cannot shower, use a wipe or clean wet cloth to wipe your skin that was not covered by clothing.
After An Attack/Exposure Event
- Cell phone service may be intermittent or unavailable. If possible, notify a family member outside the exposure area that you are okay and where you are.
- Designate one crew member to call Crew Scheduling and let them know that you’re okay and where you are.
- 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.
- Keep listening to the radio and television for news about what to do, where to go and places to avoid.
- Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away from areas marked “radiation hazard” or “HAZMAT.”
This information has been adapted from radiation emergency information provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and nuclear blast information provided from the Department of Homeland Security. Refer to the links below for additional information.