Radiation Emergencies

Family watching breaking news alert on television

If a radiation emergency occurs, you can take actions to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your pets.


In a radiation emergency, potassium iodide (KI) should only be taken on the advice of a Public Health Official.

Protect Family And Pets

Bring pets inside with you, if you can. Bring indoors any supplies from outside that your pets might need for at least 24 hours.

doctor showing a chart to a pregnant woman

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should contact their healthcare providers for information on what to do in a radiation emergency.

In a Radiation Emergency:
Button Get Inside
Button Stay Inside
Button Stay Tuned

Highlights/What's New

POD to CRC Planning Toolword icon
This tool offers high-level summaries, action steps, and checklists for ten major topics for inclusion in CRC plans. These ten topics are: (1) lead agency and public health role, (2) registry and surveillance, (3) communications, (4) CRC sites, (5) stations, (6) staffing and training, (7) equipment and supplies, (8) demobilization, (9) behavioral health, and (10) access and functional needs. When using this tool, refer to your jurisdiction’s POD plans, Population Monitoring in Radiation Emergencies, and the resources listed to complete each checklist.

Educational Videos
New educational video about Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS), and American Sign Language translations of protective action videos on “Get Inside, Stay Inside, and Stay Tuned,” “Self-Decontamination in a Radiation Emergency,” and “Food and Water Safety in a Radiation Emergency.”

CRC Electronic Data Collection Tool (CRC eTool)
This tool is designed to collect, analyze, visualize, and securely exchange population monitoring data, including demographics, radiation contamination measurements, radiation exposure assessment, and health outcomes, using the Epi Info™ 7 platform.

Public Health Radiological/Nuclear Preparedness Webinar
This August 2017 webinar provides discussion of the priority public health actions for state and local radiological/nuclear response, as well as an outline of CDC resources to assist with public health planning, particularly for a nuclear detonation.

Where to Go in a Radiation Emergency
This animated infographic shows the best way to shelter in place in a radiation emergency.

Page last reviewed: April 4, 2018
Content source: National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Emergency Management, Radiation, and Chemical Branch