These are just easy pointers, everyone needs proper training and a great book of formulas and technique. I am not an expert, in fact I know very little about this subject; I'm just pasting the easy tips I learn.
Most of this information is pulled from FEMAs Radiological Emergency Management Course
Fat Man a 21 Kiloton atomic bomb (equivalent to 21 Kilotons of TNT), dropped dead center of a major city killed around 80,000 people. 40,000 people die from the highways of America each year.
If you're not at the epicenter, you have a good chance of living a full healthy life after a couple a critical weeks have past in your shelter. But remember you cannot see, hear smell or taste atomic radiation so you must learn how to detect the energy levels.
Don't use Teflon (PTFE) Lubricants on watches, guns, water equipment, etc. NONE. Teflon (some teflons, they are all not created equal) rapidly becomes an acid upon exposure to higher levels of radiation.
If you accidentally drink heavy-water (deuterium, or heavy-water is H20 but the Hydrogen atom contains one proton and one neutron (deuteron) instead of normal Hydrogen which possesses neither) drink lots of beer and water. You will most likely be OK. (or at least you well feel a little better) Some studies even show that small quantities of Deuterium can be beneficial.
Take the recommended dose of potassium iodide pills YOU ALL READY HAVE as soon as possible after news of risk of fallout.
If you are with people other than family in the shelter, speak to them as little as possible. Three weeks in confined quarters increases the possibility of you having a problem with someone else. You MUST keep it peaceful.
Do not put creams or salves on burns until you are SURE they are clean, same with chemical or bio attacks even Mace. You could trap contaminates in the skin.
Unstable atoms undergo a nuclear process until they become stable, this process involves the emission of energy from the nucleus. This process is called radioactive decay, or radioactivity. There are three main types of nuclear radiation: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Alpha and Beta radiation are comprised of actual particles that are electrically charged. Gamma radiation is not a particle but a wave of electromagnetic energy such as radio waves and microwaves.
Emitted from the nucleus of the atom, Alpha particles are the heaviest and hold the greatest charge as compared to the other Two main types. They are the LEAST penetrating of the Two other types of radiation also. Alpha particles can travel 4 to 7 inches in air that's 10 to 18 centimeters, and are completely stopped by a piece of paper. The most energetic Alpha particle is stopped by the layer of dead skin that covers your body. The hazard of Alpha emissions is when one ingests radioactive materials that are emitting Alpha radiation, this can be extremely damaging to biology.
Emitted from the nucleus of the atom, Beta particles are smaller than Alpha particles and travel at greater velocities. They have less charge than Alpha particles and penetrate further into materials. They can penetrate several millimeters through biological tissue but generally do not penetrate far enough to reach vital inner organs. Beta particles can be very lethal when emitted internally. Further, Beta emissions directly to the lens of the eye can be very damaging. Large amounts of beta radiation to the skin will result in burns similar to heat burns. Washing exposed skin is important and can prevent burns, one must also be aware that open wounds can permit radioactive particles into the body.
Gamma rays travel though space and matter alike. They can travel up to 1 mile or 1.6 kilometers from the radioactive material emitting the radiation. Because Gamma rays can penetrate through the body all organs can be damaged by Gamma radiation. 2.5 inches of dense concrete, or 5 inches of water can absorb 50 percent of typical gamma rays.
Exposure and dose. The Roentgen is a unit to express the amount of Gamma radiation EXPOSURE an individual receives, it is abbreviated "R", 1/1000th of an R is an mR or Milli-roentgen. The Roentgen is independent of time meaning if one is exposed to 6R on one day and any time later is exposed to 11R, then the sum of their exposure is 17R.
This means, if you leave your shelter and your dose rate meter indicates that you are being exposed to 30R/hour, then in 1 hour you will have received 30R; in 2 minutes you received only 1R.
2.5" of dense concrete or 5 inches of water is enough thickness to absorb 50% of gamma radiation directed toward you (your shelter).
from cosmic radiation(44.6%), medical radiation(41.8%), fallout from weapons testing(2.4%), the nuclear industry(.5%), research(`.5%), and consumer products(1.9%), the annual whole body radiation dose rates for people in the United States is 1.84 mSv/year or 184 mrem/year.
Dosimeters do not measure energy levels per time (r/hr), they measure total exposure ((r/hr)*how long)
The rad. Rad, or Radiation Absorbed DOSE, is the basic unit of absorption. Different materials absorb different amounts of radiation, and different types of radiation (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Neutron) carry different levels of energy. The Rad indicates the absorption of 100ergs of energy per gram of absorbing material (trust me, bare with me). 1/1000th of a rad is a millirad, "mrad".
The Rem (Roentgen Equivalent Man). The different types of radiation produce different levels of biological destruction for the same amount of energy imparted. The basic unit of dose in relation to biological effect is the Rem. Therefore one must know the type of radiation emissions to apply a "quality factor" to be multiplied by the dose in Rad to get the Rem. For example 1 rad of exposure to gamma rays and beta particles equals 1 rem; 1 rad of exposure to alpha particles equals around 20 rems dose. 1 rad of neutron exposure is around 10rem. 1/1000th of a rem is an mrem.
Exposure Rate. Exposure rate is simply equals work over time, or roentgen per hour; for example, 50 roentgens for one hour is 50R/hr, 50R/hr for two hours means the individual received 100R but the rate was still 50R per hour.
Standard International Units. 1 sievert (Sv) = 100rem, and 1 gray (Gy) = 100rad. This means if a radioactive package is labeled 50R/hr and you need Sievert/hours: 50 divided by 100 = 0.5 Sv/hr
The sievert, this will help these numbers to become more real. The sievert equals one watt/second per kilogram or one joule per kilogram (1sv = 1J/kg). This can be imagined in mechanical terms as 1m^2/s^2, essentially mass at a speed (or work). The rate(in Sieverts) along with the time at that rate, gives you the dose. It's that easy, almost. There are "quality" values one must place on the different radiation types. For photons at all energy levels the Q value is 1, that is the same for Electrons, and Muons at all energies also. Neutrons are a little different; with energies less than 10keV the quality factor is 5, between 10keV and 100keV the Q factor is 10, between 100 Kilo-electron volts and 2 Mega-electron volts the quality factor goes to 20. This is where is gets funky because of science I don't understand; between 2 mega-electron volts and 20 mega-electron volts the Q factor goes back to 10, and with energies higher than 20 million electron volts the Q factor goes to 5! Weird. Protons with energies over two million electron volts have a Q factor of 5 and Alpha particles and other atomic nuclei carry a Q factor of 20. So If you made it this far you'r done! Just multiply absorbed dose (in grays, an equivalent of a sievert) by the quality factor to get the equivalent dose. There is also an N factor that you may multiply by in addition to the Q factor to find other information.
The N factor. Humans are surprisingly resilient, but because of the nature of our bodies and our bones, many other life forms are better at dealing with radiation than us. Humans have an N factor of 1. Birds with their hollow bones are better at enduring radiation and this puts their N factor at .6 to .15. Plants can vary widely we N factors from 2 to 0.02. Viruses and Bacteria can possess an N factor of up to 0.0003! One may also apply the N factor to specific parts of the human body. The colon, lungs, breasts, stomach, and bone marrow have an N factor of .12, the Gonads .08, the bladder, brain, kidneys, liver, esophagus, uterus amongst others have an N factor of .05
The following is compiled from FM 3-7. NBC Field Handbook, 1994. FM 8-9. NATO Handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defensive Operations, 1996. FM 8-10-7. Health Services Support in a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Environment, 1996. It is instructive in outlining the levels of radiation and their health effects. Expected health effects for an adult assuming the cumulative total radiation exposure was all received within a weeks time. For children, the effects can be expected at half these dose levels. As viewed on www.radmeters4u.com
TOTAL EXPOSURE ONSET & DURATION OF INITIAL SYMPTOMS & DISPOSITION
30 to 70 R
From 6-12 hours: none to slight incidence of transient headache and nausea; vomiting in up to 5 percent of personnel in upper part of dose range. Mild lymphocyte depression within 24 hours. Full recovery expected. (Fetus damage possible from 50R and above.)
70 to 150 R
From 2-20 hours: transient mild nausea and vomiting in 5 to 30 percent of personnel. Potential for delayed traumatic and surgical wound healing, minimal clinical effect. Moderate drop in lymphocycte, platelet, and granulocyte counts. Increased susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. Full recovery expected.
150 to 300 R
From 2 hours to three days: transient to moderate nausea and vomiting in 20 to 70 percent; mild to moderate fatigability and weakness in 25 to 60 percent of personnel. At 3 to 5 weeks: medical care required for 10 to 50%. At high end of range, death may occur to maximum 10%. Anticipated medical problems include infection, bleeding, and fever. Wounding or burns will geometrically increase morbidity and mortality.
300 to 530 R
From 2 hours to three days: transient to moderate nausea and vomiting in 50 to 90 percent; mild to moderate fatigability in 50 to 90 percent of personnel. At 2 to 5 weeks: medical care required for 10 to 80%. At low end of range, less than 10% deaths; at high end, death may occur for more than 50%. Anticipated medical problems include frequent diarrheal stools, anorexia, increased fluid loss, ulceration. Increased infection susceptibility during immunocompromised time-frame. Moderate to severe loss of lymphocytes. Hair loss after 14 days.
530 to 830 R
From 2 hours to two days: moderate to severe nausea and vomiting in 80 to 100 percent of personnel; From 2 hours to six weeks: moderate to severe fatigability and weakness in 90 to 100 percent of personnel. At 10 days to 5 weeks: medical care required for 50 to 100%. At low end of range, death may occur for more than 50% at six weeks. At high end, death may occur for 99% of personnel. Anticipated medical problems include developing pathogenic and opportunistic infections, bleeding, fever, loss of appetite, GI ulcerations, bloody diarrhea, severe fluid and electrolyte shifts, capillary leak, hypotension. Combined with any significant physical trauma, survival rates will approach zero.
830 R Plus
From 30 minutes to 2 days: severe nausea, vomiting, fatigability, weakness, dizziness, and disorientation; moderate to severe fluid imbalance and headache. Bone marrow total depletion within days. CNS symptoms are predominant at higher radiation levels. Few, if any, survivors even with aggressive and immediate medical attention.Click here for a better Idea of the time line
The 7-10 rule for radiation. If in one hour the reading is 1000r/hr than in 7 hours it will be 1/10 of that or 100 r/hr, then in 1*7*7 hours (49) it will be 1/100 (or 1 divided by 10 divided by 10) r/hr or 10r/hr then in 343 hours (around two weeks) it will be 1r/hr.
The distance a SOLDER can hike in 6 hours decreases by 1 mile for every ten pounds more he carries over 40 poundsDose Chart in uSv
When selecting a gas mask, make sure it is the Israeli style, two canister design. You want this because the added resistance of a gas mask greatly increases fatigue, and the two canister design lets one pull the air through just a little bit easier. Better for asthmatics also.Entertaining article on NBC Warfare