Radiological Incident

Radiation Exposure

Small amounts of radiation are considered safe. In the unlikely event that New York City became exposed to unsafe levels of radiation, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure:If you are outside, get inside. Remove all clothing and wash thoroughly.

  • If there’s an event indoors, try to get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area

  • If you cannot escape, it may be better to move as far away from the event as possible and shelter in place.

  • In the unlikely event of radiation exposure, Potassium Iodide (known as KI) may be distributed. This is a kind of salt that can prevent damage to your thyroid gland only if you are exposed to radioactive iodine. It will not help you in other radioactive environments. KI is generally only recommended for children, adolescents, pregnant women and others with growing thyroids. Only one dosage should be taken every 24 hours.


  • Time: Radioactive materials become less radioactive over time. Stay inside until authorities alert you the threat has passed.

  • Distance: The greater the distance between you and the source of the radiation the better. Authorities may call for an evacuation of people from areas close to the release.

  • Shielding: Put as much heavy, dense material between you and the source of the radiation as possible. Authorities may advise you to stay indoors or underground for this reason. Close and seal your windows and turn off any ventilation.