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Radiation Protection

What should I do in case of a radiological emergency?

This image shows where to go during a radiological emergency. Do not stay outside or in your car-go to the innermost room or basement of a sturdy building.

Get inside, stay inside and stay tuned to radio, TV or internet. Follow instructions from local responders.

Keep in mind that evacuation may not always be appropriate depending on the situation. Sometimes, simply staying inside is a better choice for preventing or reducing radiation exposure during a radiological emergency. Buildings can provide significant protection from radiation. Getting inside quickly and staying inside after a radiological incident can limit your exposure to radiation and possibly save your life.

If you witness an incident or other emergency involving radioactive material, report it to the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802.

For more information about protecting yourself and your family in the event of a radiological emergency, visit Radiological Emergency Response.

Information about what to do during radiological emergencies is also available on Radiation Emergencies at

Return to Frequent Questions about Radiation Protection.