It’s storm season, and the local TV meteorologist is warning that the storm just off the coast is a Category 5 hurricane. We immediately know what that means: get to safety, we’re in for a big one. But what if Mother Nature wasn’t the culprit? What if the threat to you and your family was the result of an attack or an accident that caused the release of hazardous levels of radiation? The danger would be invisible – but very real.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a Radiation Hazard Scale to help communicate the immediate potential impact in the event of a radiation emergency. Until now, public health officials and emergency responders haven’t had a tool like the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (the official name of the well-known hurricane category scale!) to communicate the effects of a radiological incident.