Potential use of nuclear weapons is always a threat looming in the background, although Americans tend to forget about them between crises—and do nothing to remedy the lack of civilian preparedness, states Physicians for Civil Defense president Jane M. Orient, M.D.
Emergency responders have virtually no training in what to do in the event of a nuclear detonation, and no access to equipment to detect dangerous levels of radiation, she said. The federal government discontinued the states’ civil defense radiological monitoring programs in the 1990s.
Physicians for Civil Defense has been distributing information and equipment to first responders for years. The most recent efforts use low-cost expedient “Oh Shucks! Meters” (OSMs). These use a radiosensitive chemical that irreversibly changes color on exposure to ionizing radiation. This can indicate “not safe” conditions when immediate shelter is needed, or “safe” conditions when essential activ ities can be continued because a dangerous threshold of accumulated radiation has not been reached.
When equipment is scarce, it must be distributed so it can aid the most people. Truckers, in addition to first responders, are among the workers most essential to survival and recovery, are mobile, and are located throughout the country, states Dr. Orient. Thus, Physicians for Civil Defense has decided to make enough free OSMs (a $35 value) available free to all drivers participating in a truck convoy or caravan, while supplies last.
To obtain a free meter, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, or a request for all the drivers in your company, to ki4u, Inc., 212 Oil Patch Lane, Gonzales, TX 78629. First responders may also apply.
Physicians for Civil Defense provides information to help save lives in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Physicians for Civil Defense
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