Most people associate a dirty bomb as being the same thing as the impact of a nuclear bomb, but they’re not the same. A dirty bomb can contain nuclear material, but has a shorter blast range.
When a dirty bomb is chosen by a terrorist, the goal is to cause panic as well as kill, but the widespread devastation isn’t as big as a nuclear bomb. While the material inside can be radioactive, it can also be created with explosives like C-4 or dynamite.
The radioactive content isn’t usually what kills people with a dirty bomb – it’s the pressure per inch that’s caused by the explosion that maims or kills. The closer you are to the actual bomb, the more likely you are to sustain an injury or die.
In the event of a bombing
If you’re able to, you need to put as much distance between yourself and the explosion as possible. The more distance you put between you and the bomb, the more you lower your risk from the radiation exposure.
Never run with a crowd. What happens with some dirty bombings is that terrorists want to strike a second time and they want to hurt as many people as possible. So the more people that you’re around, the higher your chances are of going through a second attack.
Leave the crowd behind and get away from the point of impact. Because terrorists are known to hide other explosives to create more fear and confusion after an initial bombing, or to hurt responders, don’t go near any unattended bags, packages or vehicles that are near where the bomb went off.
If you’re having to leave a building, be careful to watch for sudden collapse of that building or ones nearby. Stay away from buildings that have been affected by the explosion so that you’re not hurt in the event of a secondary incident or by debris falling to the ground.
Keep going until you’re some place safe before you worry about calling anyone – and that includes the authorities. If you stick around in the immediate area and try to call, you could make yourself a target.
Reconnect with your family and friends who were not at the shooting location at a different place by using your emergency plan to meet up. Facebook now has check in measures for disasters so you can let everyone know you’re okay.