Keeping Safe From A Radioactive Dispersion Device

September 6, 2019 0 Comments

Today’s topic is RDD. This is short for Radiological Dispersion Device. This could be an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) type of device, but it’s really its own separate entity.

The RDD combines some sort of explosive device with radioactive material and its function is to spread the dangerous and sub-lethal amounts of radioactive material over a specific area.

It’s funny how devices like this often appeal more to foreign and domestic terrorists because they require very limited skill to put together and set off. There are many more lethal devices that are similar to an RDD but they’re much more complex and take a chemistry or engineering background…which most terrorists don’t have!

When an RDD is deployed the target area will most likely be contaminated and quarantined for several months. This requires a very specific, long term plan. While an event like this is a bit unlikely, it never hurts to have a contingency plan just in case.

First, as with everything else prepper and survival-related, build an emergency kit. Also know as a 72-hour bag, bug-out-bag, etc. Be sure to add duct tape and scissors, however, if they’re not already in there. You can find a great tutorial HERE.

Second, have a family emergency plan. Have a deep understanding of what the protocol is if you’re at home and if you’re all separated. Ensure that your family understands what to do for a shelter-in-place scenario to protect themselves from radiation exposure. Also, have a communication plan if cell phones are inoperable.

Consider asking your local town officials if any of the local buildings are designated fall out shelters. It is possible that you could incorporate that shelter into your emergency and communication plans.

If there aren’t any designated shelters in your area look for basements, subway tunnels, or windowless areas in the middle floors of a high-rise building. This ensures protection from the radiation. Turns out that radication survival is fairly similar to tornado safety as well.

Something else to consider in your planning is that there are TWO types of shelters that may be needed in such an event.

First is a blast shelter. These are specifically constructed to offer some kind of protection against blast pressure, initial radiation, heat, and fire. But a blast shelter cannot withstand a direct hit from a nuclear explosion.

Second is a Fallout shelter: these do not need to be specifically constructed for protecting against fallout. They can be any protected space, provided it has walls and a roof that is thick and dense enough to absorb the radiation given the fallout particles.

Be sure to keep in mind that while an explosion will be really obvious the presence of radiation will not be known until trained personnel are in the scene.

What to do when:

If you’re caught outside- go inside (durr) if you have time, turn off all ventilation and heating systems in the building or residence you’re in. Close the windows, vents, fireplace, dampers, fans and dryer vents too. This helps prevent any contaminated air from making its way inside.

If you cannot make it to a shelter, cover your nose and mouth and move rapidly as possible UPWIND. Seek any shelter that may be available and provide a barrier from the contaminated air. Hang tight and listen for any official instructions.

If you are indoors when this occurs, you’re in luck. The chances of escaping radioactive contamination are much better. So, if you’re caught indoors, turn off any ventilation, heating systems, close all windows and vents, including your dryer vent. Essentially you want an airtight seal on your home.

Gather your supplies kit (emergency bag, bug-out-bag, 72-hour kid) and your NOAA or EAS radio. This is most likely where official instructions will come from.

Seek shelter immediately. Being indoors may not be enough so try to go underground to a basement. If you don’t have a basement, try to find an interior room with no windows. Turns out RDD survival mimics tornado survival in a way!

If you have time and it’s safe to do so seal off windows and external doors with duct tape and plastic sheeting. Then again, sit tight and wait for official instructions. It may be a few hours or even days so ensuring that you have an adequately stocked survival pantry stash is important as you may not have power depending on how close you are to the blast radius.

If you feel that you, or a loved one, may have been contaminated with radiological material you need to decontaminate right away.

First, remove and bag any clothing that was being worn during contamination.

Second, move the bag away from you and isolate it.

Third, shower thoroughly with soap and water.

Fourth, get to a hospital or a clinic if it is safe to do so. You’ll know it’s safe when the official instructions come on the radio.

Fifth, continue to listen to the radio or watch the news for instructions and information.

Sixth, DO NOT return or visit the Radiological Dispersion Device incident site for ANY reason.

Do you want to die? Because that’s how people die.

Cheers 😉


Mil-Spec Mom

Nila is an Army Wife, mother of two boys, and a firearms instructor. She is currently pursuing a double masters in Homeland Security & Emergency Disaster Management, while trying to balance the daily life of being a SAHM/WAHM. She loves ice cream and learning about self-defense as a mother. For more info please click the "About Mil-Spec Mom" tab at the top.