How do you prepare for a nuclear accident?

To prepare for a nuclear accident:

  • Have an evacuation plan. Know what routes to take and be ready to choose one based on wind conditions. Have a way to use that route. It may be necessary to depend on public transportation, so find out how to do that. Best preparation will include a kit with emergency materials easily accessible as you leave.
  • Consider that an event may take place at night, and be ready for that. Flashlights, especially windup flashlights, are good to have. The emergency kit might include some clothing along with everything else.
  • Have potassium iodide tablets. They do not protect you against everything, but they do protect your thyroid gland against radioactive iodine.
  • Have a battery powered radio, and keep fresh batteries. Better might be a windup radio.
  • If there is no way to leave the area, stay indoors, do not open windows, and be prepared to stay there. The electricity may be out, in which case water might also be out, so have water and food that does not need to be cooked.
  • The best building to live in, if you cannot leave, would have a basement to stay in, and aluminum siding would be slightly better than other types because a few millimeters will stop beta particles.
  • Have respirators for adults and children, fitted in advance for specific individuals and with names on them.
  • Have a book explaining how to recognize radiation sickness and what to do about it.
  • Keep a book of prayers of whatever religion you believe in. Keep a list of religions if you don't have one - in the case of a nuclear accident, you may decide to get one. At the very least, learn to focus your thoughts on better things.