Huntsville reusing fallout shelters for emergency response
| 11.05.2007 | 08:09:13 | Views: 4598 | ID:
November 5 '07: Emergency management and local government officials in Huntsville, Alabama have reopened their fallout shelters to help with response operations in the event of a large emergency or radiological disaster, Physicians for Civil Defense wrote. The program was designed by local officials to help buffer the impact of potentially hundreds or even thousands of people displaced by a nuclear or radiological disaster and who would seek a safe haven.
Logistically, hospitals would not be able to handle the surge of refugees seeking shelter from radiation. "The medical community can manage fatalities and casualties but a sheltering program for displaced persons is beyond the scope of hospitals and clinics," PCD wrote. "Starting in 2005, Huntsville devised and followed a two-prong solution. ... medical facilities were identified which were judged to afford protection from radiation. ... (and) over 100 previously surveyed public shelters were identified for the general public."Additionally, the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency worked to develop a Fallout Shelter Guide and video "to enable a Shelter Manager to quickly select and train a Shelter Management Team to accommodate the needs of the shelter population and enable them to survive in the shelter" until they are able to leave. Each site also has been equipped with radiation detection equipment which has been updated and maintained by the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. According to PCD, the Huntsville program is the first in the country to reopen and reuse the fallout shelters.
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