With all the recent news stories about nuclear weapons -- and the prospect of an intentional or accidental launch -- the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plan to educate the public on safety precautions they can take if such an unlikely event occurs.
The CDC plans to hold an online briefing Jan. 16, to inform the public about preparations that have been made on the federal, state and local levels.
The agency’s website stresses that a nuclear detonation, while unlikely, would have “devastating results,” and allow little time for protection against radiation.
Nevertheless, knowing fundamental safety measures can alleviate some of the more devastating effects.
For example, “Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness. For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation,” the CDC says.
The webcast will feature input from Dan Sosin, the CDC's deputy director and chief medical officer, plus radiation experts and emergency response officials.
Members of the public can submit questions for the discussion, or apply to attend the event in person, by contacting the CDC's Grand Rounds team. The contact information is available here.